Arizona's Tax Department Catches $74 Million in Phony Refunds

Categories: News

The Arizona Department of Revenue prevented about $74 million in fraudulent tax refunds from being sent out, according to agency officials.

Five years ago, the agency reported stopping less than $2 million in payouts of phony tax refunds.

See also:
-Arizona Ranked 13th-Best State to Be a Taxpayer

The fraudulent returns are the result of someone using either a stolen or fictitious identity to file tax returns.

A statement from the department credits better enforcement and investigations for the huge increase in false refunds caught by the department:
Anthony Forschino, Assistant Director for the Department of Revenue in charge of criminal investigations . . . 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. Forschino also said, "The Department is working with the IRS, other states and law enforcement agencies to share information and develop strategies to combat this kind of fraud, especially by the larger criminal syndicates and organized groups who are engaged in this type of fraud."
There's no doubt that $74 million is a ton of money, but consider that the Department of Revenue reported collecting more than $13 billion in total taxes in 2013, $7.1 billion of which went straight to the state's general fund.

At the federal level, the Internal Revenue Service reported catching $20 billion in fraudulent refunds in 2012.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


My Voice Nation Help

And the suspects are yours truly... ILLEGAL ALIENS!!!  Good work for catching it!

Joe Rollins
Joe Rollins

And like all good government, they probably spent 90 million to do it.


According to Lemons and Gilman there are no victims of identity theft...

Identity theft is the root of this issue.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

"...Larger criminal syndicates and organized groups who are engaged in this type of fraud." Oh, you mean Tea Party members. We all know how baggers demand something for nothing. Tax evasion would be one way of doing it.


Regardless if it costs 90 million or 90 billion, the fraud needs to be stopped at any cost.

WhoKnows topcommenter

@Ponder Can we deport the farm kid in Iowa that stole my ID and and used it to buy video games?  Deport him to Nebraska..  That's the ticket!

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Call me anything you want, but don't call me sweetie, dickweed.


@eric.nelson745 You fucking jerk, the liberals are the people who demand things for nothing!


@eric.nelson745 Always put the blame on somebody else, right?  No, the Tea Part is not to blame... it is the Dems and the illegal aliens that are to blame. You better stop being in denial.

valleynative topcommenter


Take a group you don't like and accuse them of all sorts of crap that has nothing to do with reality. That's a pretty effective tactic that's been used by hateful people against Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, and many other minorities, so why not use it against people whose politics you don't like?

Of course, it's really only a tactic for people who can't make their point with reason and honesty.

fishingblues topcommenter


You  are scared to death of anyone different than you, aren't you sweetie?  In most circles, you would be considered a fucking bigot.  

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