No one likes paying federal income taxes. But worse than filing a tax return every April 15 is the knowledge that some people are cheating the government, and sometimes their clients, and obtaining refunds that aren’t due them.
Thankfully U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton shares the outrage: “They’re cheating the government, they’re cheating the economy, they’re taking money that could be used elsewhere such as reducing our nation’s debt, supporting our education system or supporting our military members.” And so his office and the IRS Criminal Investigation unit are actively pursuing the scam artists, identity thieves and ne’er-do-wells out there. At least 17 people face charges or recently have been convicted of tax fraud.
The IRS may not be most people’s favorite federal bureaucracy, but this is one time when people are happy to see its full force used. The IRS has gotten pretty sophisticated, and it is difficult to overstate income or file for a refund in someone else’s name without alarm bells going off. Wigginton and IRS investigators are listening for those bells, and the honest taxpayers are grateful.