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As a former federal prosecutor, and, currently, as an Augusta, Georgia criminal defense lawyer, I have handled many cases involving identity fraud. The State of Georgia, like many states, has had a serious problem with fraudulent income tax returns being submitted for tax refunds by con artists using identities of innocent victims. According to various news reports, the State detected approximately 29,000 fraudulent tax returns in 2009, 52,000 such returns in 2010, and the number has swelled to approximately 100,000 bogus tax returns for 2011.
But, apparently, help is on the way for the Georgia Department of Revenue in preventing tax refunds from being sent to identity thieves! According to news reports, the State of Georgia has recently implemented a new computer screening system which will better detect fraudulent tax returns. For instance, the new screening system has better access to millions of legitimate addresses and can apparently better detect bogus addresses.
We can only hope it helps! Identity theft affects us all, including all of us, as taxpayers, and also all those identity theft victims out there who were expecting quick tax refunds!