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Arizona Tax Fraud Schemes Have Increased During Virus Outbreak

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The Arizona Department of Revenue said COVID-19 hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to take advantage of taxpayers.  Criminal investigators with the department said since COVID-19 fully emerged in Arizona, 13 tax fraud schemes using stolen or created identities were identified and then stopped.

The amount of tax fraud identified so far this calendar year has totaled more than $10 million and revenue officials said in a written news release that’s a 50 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Two schemes that stand out include one that used the stolen identities of young individuals with refund requests ranging from $48 to $5,000. Another attempted scam used the identities of retired or deceased taxpayers to submit fabricated 1099-R forms, which report distributions from pensions, retirement or profit-sharing plans, and annuities.

DOR officials said the fraudsters then filed tax refund claims ranging from $109 to $8,999 using the stolen identities.

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