Electronic filing of federal tax returns has become even more complicated, as fallout from a number of high-profile data breaches continues. The Social Security numbers and other stolen personal information from these issues has led to more fraudulent tax returns - and the IRS is informing unknowing victims that someone else filed their tax return for them.
Tax refund fraud is the most prevalent form of identity fraud the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received since 2012, according to the National Consumers League. To make matters worse, it's extremely difficult to avoid, so it will remain an appealing crime for cybercriminals.
"Tax fraud this year is very prevalent, primarily because of these recent high-profile data breaches," said Julie Miller, spokesperson for Intuit, in a statement published by the San Jose Mercury News. "We are seeing tax refund fraud being driven by identity theft. That has implications for people who use TurboTax online or any online tax preparation."