The Arizona Department of Revenue continues to combat the growing epidemic of tax fraud whereby individuals file false income tax returns using stolen or fictitious taxpayer information. Over the past fiscal year, the Department of Revenue stopped over $74 million dollars in fraudulent refunds from being sent out.
Anthony Forschino, assistant director for the Department of revenue in charge of criminal investigations, states this is an increase of over $42 million dollars from the previous fiscal year when $32 million in fraudulent refunds were prevented. “To give an idea of how dire this problem has become, consider that just five years ago we stopped less than $2 million in fraudulent refunds,” stated Forschino. “To stop over 37 times more in fraud just a half a decade later shows how rapidly this type of crime has proliferated.”
He attributed the increase from the prior year to enhancements to the Department’s computer programs along with assigning additional highly trained and motivated financial auditors and investigators to this effort.
“It is important to continue this effort, and it is our commitment to the citizens of Arizona to continue using all available resources to protect taxpayers and their tax dollars from this type of fraud,” said Director Raber.