Majority of CPAs polled had clients victimized by tax ID theft this year
Sixty-three percent of CPAs who answered the 2015 tax software survey conducted by The Tax Adviser and JofA said at least one of their clients was a victim of tax identity theft in the 2015 filing season.
CPAs interviewed in connection with the survey’s findings on identity theft also echoed National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson’s report to Congress released Wednesday detailing long telephone wait times and other frustrations experienced by victims of identity theft in dealing with the IRS (Objectives Report to Congress).
In the survey, conducted in May, most CPAs reporting theft of clients’ IDs said the problem affected fewer than 5% of their clients, although 76 respondents (2%) said between 6% and 10% of their clients were victims. Ten respondents reported between 11% and 15% of their clients were victims, and two respondents put the percentage at more than 15%.
Many respondents had some difficulty dealing with the IRS in resolving the issues, with only 27% saying it was easy or very easy to resolve, and 39% saying it was difficult or very difficult. A significant percentage of respondents, 44%, reported that the victims were unaware of the theft before attempting to file their 2014 returns, and another 42% said some victims were aware of it and others were not. Read more on the Journal of Accountancy.