By: Angela Howard
April 12, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - We are now three days and counting until the April 15th tax deadline. With Monday fast approaching, many are scrambling to get their paperwork together and filed on time. But you need to be careful, there are people who see this as the prime time to swoop in and take advantage of others.
Year after year, cases of tax fraud are discovered. These crimes are investigated by the IRS and are prosecuted on federal level. Yet, U.S. Attorney Pamela Marsh says these crimes remain prevalent.
Pamela Marsh, US Attorney: "It's been a tsunami-- I think Florida has been hit more than any other."
Marsh attributes the large number of cases in Florida to the state's elderly population. "The elderly don't often have earned income. File early, if you file early, the criminal is locked out."
Marsh also has several tips to help keep you from becoming a victim.
"The best thing you can do is protect your SS number-- safegaurd your personal information at home as well. Lock it up in a safe. Also use the Post Office to mail important documents instead of putting them in your mailbox in front of your house.
Remember that falsifying information on your tax return is a federal offense. Marsh says tax fraud accounts for a five billion dollar annual loss for the IRS. On the flip side, she said the IRS works diligently to deter these crimes, and is able to stop 1.8 billion dollars in tax fraud each year.