The Sun Sentinel says the findings were released in a report issued by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The independent watchdog group oversees the IRS.
"The report really underscores just how bad a problem ID tax fraud is in Florida and around the country," said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who asked the Treasury Inspector General last year to investigate the extent of the problem. "It's become an epidemic that's costing law-abiding U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. And it's one we've got to fix. That's why I've filed legislation aimed at putting a stop to these fraudsters."
And while the IRS has not officially confirmed the findings, House Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., R-La., referenced the 741 filings as originating from a single home.
[Related: IRS missing billions to ID theft]
The Sun notes that three of the top five fraudulent returns in the U.S. last year originated in Florida, with Miami and Tampa being cited as the top cities to submit potentially fraudulent returns. A Tax Administration spokesman said nearly 75,000 fraudulent returns were submitted from Miami in 2010, totaling $281 million in refunds. The IRS says it has been attempting to crack down on identity theft by increasing protective measures against the crime.
Rep. Boustany said another home in Tampa sent out fewer returns, 518, but received refunds totaling $1.8 million. In addition, he says a post office box in Orlando received just over $1 million for 703 suspected fraudulent returns.
"Over the past several years my office has seen a dramatic increase in the number of individuals needing assistance because of tax refund identity theft, a clear indication this crime is becoming a big problem in South Florida," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
- Government Agencies