Advocate: IRS efforts on identity theft lacking

“Taxpayers need ‘one-stop shopping’ — a single point of contact they can work with to resolve all issues in their cases — and the IRS needs a ‘traffic cop’ to make sure that all units complete their actions and that parts of cases do not fall through the cracks,” Olson said in a statement. 

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In her report, Olson also said that IRS efforts to combat identity theft have been hamstrung by funding issues. But the taxpayer advocate also asserted that the agency could be more productive with its available resources. 

The IRS has defended its efforts on identity theft, with Doug Shulman, the recently departed commissioner of the agency, saying last year that the IRS had “implemented new filters to detect fraudulent returns and new processes for handling returns.”

“These efforts have paid off,” Shulman said in September. “This year to date, we have stopped $15 billion in fraudulent payments from going out the door as compared to $11 billion over the same period last year.”