IRS Report: Millions of Identities Stolen

In June of 2015, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee that 2.7 million taxpayers had their identities stolen, and pledged to make the tax filing system more secure by 2016.[1] Fast forward to August of 2016, also known as present day, and the problem has clearly been fixed.


On Tuesday August 30th, 2016, the IRS’s Inspector General released a report that indicated that over 1 million Americans had their social security numbers stolen by illegal immigrants. The IRS report admitted a terrible policy of not notifying the taxpayer their identities had been stolen at all.[2]   It’s not shocking, though it should be, that a government agency’s solution to a system with measurable fraud and criminal activity, is ignore the victim as long as the money is rolling in.

To be sure, identity theft is not a victimless crime.  According to, “approximately 15 million United States residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion.”[3] To put that into perspective, those estimated yearly losses are almost enough to cover ten years’ worth of President Obama’s proposed spending to provide free community college for students with good grades.[4] Or, those single year losses are enough to cover all of the United State’s aid to foreign countries for a year and a half.[5] Or, one year of losses would have been enough to give $350 to each person who showed up to vote in the 2012 presidential election.

The latter isn’t a bad idea. Getting voters motivated and involved is the only way to clean up this mess.


--By Derek A. Jordan, Esq., Barnes Law


Derek A. Jordan is an associate attorney with Barnes Law, licensed to practice law in Tennessee.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.



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