IRS Taking Too Long To Resolve Identity Theft Cases, Watchdog Says

IRS Taking Too Long To Resolve ID Theft Cases, Watchdog Says

( – The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) is an independent organization within the IRS designed to help taxpayers address issues, especially those causing financial difficulty. Congress mandates the NTA to provide two reports annually. The latest indicated that the tax agency is taking too long to address one of its most serious issues.

In its current report, released Wednesday, June 26, the independent watchdog noted that the 2024 tax filing season went smoothly, thanks to a massive influx of funding from the Inflation Reduction Act. However, it wasn’t all good news. The IRS is fighting a glaring issue: the agency is failing to “resolv[e] identity theft victim assistance cases” in a timely manner. Erin Collins, who leads the NTA, called the situation “unconscionable.”

In January, the NTA reported the agency’s average resolution time in these cases was 19 months. As of April, that time had increased to 22 months. In the meantime, the IRS reportedly left taxpayers in limbo, unable to collect refunds rightfully owed to them, which could impact their financial insecurity.

The report pointed out that the issue was particularly burdensome for “low-income taxpayers who” might use the refunds for “day-to-day living expenses” or to repay “expenses accrued throughout the year.” Additionally, the report highlighted how these taxpayers might struggle to obtain alternate financing because of a compromised identity.

IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel spoke with The Associated Press earlier this year, noting that the agency had “a lot of work to do” but cautioning that it wouldn’t happen overnight. Collins echoed the sentiment, noting that the tax agency had taken the proper steps. She added that she believed the US taxpayers’ experiences would continue improving as the IRS addressed the issues outlined in the report and applied fixes.

In the meantime, anyone experiencing issues can contact the NTA if all other measures fail.

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