TIGTA FINDS THAT IRS SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED TIME CLOSING IDENTITY THEFT CASES

NSTPIdentity Theft, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)

In a June 8 release from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), TIGTA announced that the IRS significantly reduced the time frames to close taxpayer identity theft cases by centralizing victim assistance into a single organizational directorate and by improving its processes and procedures. TIGTA’s report on their review of 51,749 taxpayer-initiated identity theft refund cases closed by the Identity Theft Victim Assistance (IDTVA) Directorate between August 1, 2015, and May 25, 2016, indicated that cases were closed in an average of 166 days. This finding indicated that cases closed 112 days sooner than the 278 days reported in TIGTA’s previous review in March 2015 (a 40 percent improvement in timeliness closing cases). Not only did timeliness improve because of clearer lines of responsibility in the IDTVA and improved processing guidance, but IRS also reduced the number of identity theft resolution errors (victims receiving incorrect refund amounts) by seven percent. TIGTA noted these findings, but made one recommendation that IDTVA managers should be more consistent when conducting required monthly reviews of employees’ identity theft casework.