Tax return fraud on rise in St. Louis area, across US

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

The Chesterfield Police Department said it has responded to more than 500 reports of federal income tax return fraud this tax season, making the St. Louis suburb one of many in the metro area and across the state to see an uptick in tax return fraud. Authorities are calling it one of the nation’s fastest-growing and costliest crimes.

The 500 cases in Chesterfield represent about 3 percent of the city’s households. Earlier this month, Ballwin police had already recorded 210 cases of tax fraud — a significant spike over the 102 reported in 2014.

Frank Reedy of St. Louis accounting firm Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP said 10 percent of returns his firm had e-filed were rejected because of previous fraudulent attempts.

Nationwide, roughly 2.4 million taxpayers were hit by tax-related identity theft in 2013, which represents about 2 percent of U.S. households and is double the number affected by tax return fraud in 2012.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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