A Middle Tennessee man is fighting to get two years worth of tax refunds after he found out someone stole his identity and filed his taxes for 2011 and 2012.
Michael Bostic, of Lebanon, first realized he was a victim of identity theft in April 2012 when the IRS rejected his tax return because someone already filed it and collected a refund.
He filed a report with the Wilson County Sheriff's Department and identity theft affidavit with the IRS and notified all three credit bureaus.
Bostic said he kept getting the run around when asking about his owed refund and the investigation into who stole his identity.
“They just keep pushing it off to someone else,” he said. “Each time you call a number you get someone else from a different state.”
Bostic continued, “I asked them if they could just assign me a case worker so that each time I call I could talk to someone. They won't even do that.”
Bostic said the IRS told him that for his 2012 taxes his social security number was frozen to prevent further fraud.
However, when he filed his 2012 tax return this past January it was once again rejected because someone already electronically filed a return using his social security number.
According to Bostic, he is owed around $6,000 in refunds from the IRS.
“I told them if I owed you money, you would be knocking on my door to collect it right away,” he said. “They have not been helpful at all.”
Bostic said he is at his wits end and has contacted his senators and congressmen.
The IRS will not comment on the specific case, but according to the department's Web site there has been a spike in the number of identity fraud claims.
The IRS reported 224 investigations initiated in fiscal year 2010, 276 investigations in fiscal year 2011 and 898 investigations initiated in fiscal year 2012.
By January 31, the department had initiated 542 investigations, secured 353 indictments and reported 90 people were sentenced to prison time.
The IRS also expanded its law enforcement assistance program. The program helps law enforcement get copies of tax return information that could help them investigate and prosecute cases of identity theft connected to fraudulent tax returns.
The program allows the victims of identity theft to sign release waivers that allow the investigators to have access to their tax returns.
In February it was in operation in nine states Florida, Alabama, California, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.
March 29, 2013 program expanded to all 50 states.
Bostic has not received a waiver from the IRS and is still trying to get information about the person who filed his tax return.
He said the person appears to have done it from Florida.
“When you call up and have this problem they know about it. Why can't they just give you a phone number to call a certain person,” Bostic said. “Evidently there is someone out there receiving money from the IRS under my social security number.”
Bostic is on disability following a work place fall. He is in need of the money to help meet his monthly bills.
If he does not receive his refunds soon he may have to cut his recovery short out of necessity.
“I am at the point where I am going to have to tell the doctors, ‘You are going to have to release me early' because I have to go back to work,” he said.
Bostic has contacted his congress people for help. He said Senator Bob Corker's office promised to look into his problem.
The IRS also said people who feel they are not being helped effectively can call the Taxpayer Advocate Service at 615-250-5000.