(KMOV) - - The IRS says the agency is beefing up efforts to combat fraud due to identify theft. Ahead of this filing season, the IRS says it assigned more than 3,000 IRS employees to work on identify theft issues (more than double the number that were assigned to fraud in 2011).
Last year, the IRS said it identified more than 642,000 incidents of identity theft in 2012 according to this U.S. Government Accountability Office report.
Some taxpayers will discover a problem when they try to file a return and learn that one has already been filed, without their permission. The IRS offers tips on how to avoid becoming an identity theft victim, but the tips don't address whether there is a way to avoid insider schemes in which a thief has access to personal information and steals many social security numbers at the same time.
Russ Signorino, the executive director of the non-profit Gateway EITC Community Coalition, oversees 240 volunteer tax preparers at 28 sites. The volunteers prepare income tax returns for low-income families (who make less than $51,000 a year) for free. Signorino says taxpayers should consider filing early in the season, "When you file early, your return gets in there first. Then if a scammer tries to get a return in, the IRS will reject it."
If you're concerned that you are a victim of income tax fraud, here is where you go to report the suspected fraud.