News & Views
Journal of Accountancy | ID Theft
Tax ID theft victims may obtain copies of fraudulent returns
By Paul Bonner
November 13, 2015
The IRS posted instructions on its website for taxpayers or their CPA or other authorized representative to obtain copies of returns filed by thieves using the taxpayers’ stolen identification. The new procedures represent a change of policy for the Service, which previously had refused to release fraudulent returns due to privacy concerns.
Acknowledging that taxpayers victimized by stolen identification tax refund fraud may have a compelling concern to determine just what information about them was stolen and how it was used, the IRS said it will provide copies of fraudulent returns for the current tax year and up to six previous tax years. However, requests for the returns must meet strict requirements, and certain information will be redacted from the copies provided. Also, the IRS must have resolved the underlying identity theft case before it will provide a copy of any affected return. For now, only individual returns in the 1040 series may be requested.
Journal of Accountancy | Retirement
More than half of clients underestimate their retirement expenses
By Courtney L. Vien
November 10, 2015
More than half of clients underestimate their retirement expensesBy Courtney L. VienNovember 10, 2015Underestimating certain key factors in financial planning can leave retirees in difficult circumstances at a time that is supposed to be their golden years.
According to an AICPA survey, many people planning for retirement make the mistake of underestimating these factors. CPA financial planners responding to the AICPA CPA Personal Financial Planning Trends Survey for the third quarter of 2015 said that, on average, more than half of their retirement planning clients underestimated: their retirement expenses (57%); their and their spouse’s combined life expectancies (57%);their individual life expectancies (52%); and the amount of money they need to be able to retire (54%).
IRS | Request Copy of Fraudulent Return
Instructions for Requesting Copy of Fraudulent Returns
We know that identity theft is a frustrating process for victims, and we are taking aggressive steps to stop fraudulent returns before they are processed. We understand victims want to know more about the information used on the fraudulent returns using their Social Security number.
A victim of identity theft or a person authorized to obtain the identity theft victim’s tax information may request a redacted copy (one with some information blacked-out) of a fraudulent return that was filed and accepted by the IRS using the identity theft victim’s name and SSN. Due to federal privacy laws, the victim’s name and SSN must be listed as either the primary or secondary taxpayer on the fraudulent return; otherwise the IRS cannot disclose the return information. For this reason, the IRS cannot disclose return information to any person listed only as a dependent.