By Bernie Becker - 07/31/14 08:06 PM EDT
The Senate’s top two tax writers are seeking to give taxpayers more protections from identity fraud.
The IRS has said that stopping that sort of fraud is a top priority, and that it’s now doing a better job identifying scammers. The new bill from Senate Finance Chairman Ron WydenRon WydenRepublican chairman: Our tax reform plan fits with Trump's vision Post Orlando, hawks make a power play Democrats seize spotlight with sit-in on guns MORE (D-Ore.) and the committee’s top Republican, Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchMedicare trust fund running out of money fast Long past time to fix evidence-sharing across borders Overnight Tech: Facebook's Sandberg comes to Washington | Senate faces new surveillance fight | Warren enters privacy debate MORE (Utah), seek to give the agency even more weapons.
“Tax refund fraud is a one-two punch for taxpaying individuals,” Hatch said in a statement. “Millions of taxpayers’ identities are compromised, and all taxpayers have their tax dollars wasted.”
“We have to better protect lawful taxpayers from this nightmare issue,” Wyden added.
The proposal would force businesses to get employee information to the IRS more quickly, and to give the agency more access to a new hires database.
Scammers themselves would face stiffer penalties, while victims of fraud would get streamlined access to IRS assistance.
The measure giving more tools to the IRS comes as House Republicans have balked at giving the agency more weapons to get uncollected revenue, in response to the ongoing Tea Party controversy. Those proposals were key planks in the Senate highway proposal.