Florida residents beware! Law enforcement officers have noted an extremely high increase in tax fraud in the Tampa Bay area. Postal officials have intercepted hundreds of millions of dollars of suspected fraudulent tax refunds. Many residents have expressed their dissatisfaction with the efforts put in by the IRS to combat the scourge. In the meantime, lawmakers in Washington have introduced legislation and convened hearings to find ways to overcome the menace.
One such couple who had their tax refund stolen through fraud was Jay and Christine Gordon. As a result, the couple has sued the IRS and hope their action will become a class-action lawsuit on the matter as there are many other cases like theirs.
The trouble all began for the Gordons in March when they received a letter from the IRS informing them they were the subject of an audit. But at that time, they had not even filed their taxes yet (they always do so jointly). When they attempted to file their tax returns through e-filing, their submission was rejected. When they brought the matter up to the IRS, they were told to lodge an identity theft affidavit, which they duly complied with.
But the Gordons continued receiving letters informing them of the audit. Jay then called the IRS and complained, “Don’t you know that we have filed as identity theft, and you need to back off.” According to him, the IRS response was that the department that sends out the audit notices does not communicate with the other department that handles the affidavits.
Only in June, the letters stopped coming.
Communicating with the IRS is another frustrating matter, according to Jay Gordon. “I’ve called countless times,” he said. Jay estimates he has called the IRS between 10 and 15 times and has been put on hold sometimes for up to an hour. When he is told someone will return his call, eventually no one does. Christine chips in, “You’re on hold, and then you’re transferred from one ill-informed representative to another.”
No one would say how much the criminal siphoned out of the Gordons tax refund, but they (the Gordons) have yet to receive the $2,500 refund due to them.
In response, the IRS says that they cannot comment on individual cases like Gordon’s. In an official statement, the IRS said, “We understand that this is a frustrating process for identity theft victims, and we share their frustrations. These are some of the most complex cases we handle. The IRS is firmly committed to working with people to take care of these issues as quickly as possible. We have been working hard to speed up the resolution of refund fraud cases and help get these fixed promptly for taxpayers. We have put more people into this area to help resolve these cases as fast as we can.”
Classifying the Gordons’ lawsuit as a class-action one may be difficult based on recent experiences, but the couple is hopeful.
If you are having trouble with the IRS, call us at (813) 295-7648 for a free consultation. We are here to help you solve your tax problems.
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