Senator Merkley Asks IRS For Ways To Fix Tax ID Fraud

As the tax filing deadline approaches, Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley is asking the Internal Revenue Service to improve security.

When Mark Ertle was doing his taxes a few years ago, he got a rude awakening. Someone had stolen his identity and filed his taxes to get the refund.

“It was denied because somebody else had already done it,” Ertle said.

Merkley said the IRS has tried systems to beat fraudsters, like providing some people with a six-digit PIN. But those numbers were then stolen.

He’s drafted a letter with Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, asking the IRS to come up with solutions.

“We are asking the IRS to lay out from their expert point of view, what the range of possibilities are and whether these need any form of congressional action,” he said. “Then Senator Rounds and I can team up in a bipartisan way to try and take such action forward.”

Last year, more than 600,000 Americans were victims of tax ID theft. And that number grows every year.