The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


April 13, 2013

Stealing IRS income tax returns

In March, a Clinton woman received a phone call from a special agent of the Internal Revenue Service. He told her the IRS detected someone filed an income tax return, claiming a return, in her name. The woman did not file her tax returns yet.

This is an example of identity theft involving tax fraud.

One of the dangers of identity theft is someone with your personal information, especially your social security number, can file a tax return in your name and claim the refund. It’s likely you won’t realize this until you do get notification from IRS, or you notice a delay in your refund.

From my research, it looks like this kind of fraud is quickly increasing. The IRS tells us they realize what an issue this is for taxpayers, and are devoting much greater resources in 2013 than in previous years to preventing, detecting, and prosecuting this kind of tax fraud.

The IRS reports in 2011 they prevented $14 billion in refund fraud, and this rose to $20 billion.

The Clinton woman said the IRS contacted her about the fraud. This is likely the result of their identity theft screening filters. They report great expansion in the number and quality of their filters, which spot fraudulent returns before refunds are issued. They report using “dozens” of filters.

They report 3,000 employees, double the number from 2011, working on identity theft. They report arrests of identity thieves in tax cases will almost triple from 2012 to 2013.

And it does not sound like this tax fraud arrest is a slap-on-the wrist deal. Court records show sentences like 21 years in federal prison to a Memphis woman who stole records from the Memphis Police Department and then sold them to others who electronically filed tax returns. Or 9 1/2 years to a Chicago man who used names of 470 dead taxpayers to file return claimining $120 million in refunds from 2007 to 2011.

Text Only
  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

  • Looking for love in all the wrong places This classic Dear Margo column was published in April 2008. DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at

    April 19, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract

    Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
    The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:

    April 18, 2014

  • Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton: The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled "'Fair offer' differences" in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate state

    April 18, 2014

  • The lesson of 'Camp David' The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an a

    April 18, 2014

  • Wild Rose avoids another distraction Several casino operators in the state of Iowa breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted 4-1 to reject a casino in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is close enough to have a possible effect on Wild Rose Casino and R

    April 18, 2014

  • Youngquist photo World Book Night celebrated April 23 The Clinton Public Library children's department plans to start a Legos club this June. We would appreciate donations of new or used Legos bricks. Please, no Duplo bricks. Drop donations at the children's desk on the second floor of the library. Root

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walter Williams mug Equality in discipline George Leef, director of research for the North Carolina-based John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, authored a Forbes op-ed article titled "Obama Administration Takes Groupthink To Absurd Lengths." The subtitle is "School Discipline

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

     View Results