MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With the normal tax day coming on a federal holiday, everyone who hasn’t filed a return has an extra 24 hours to file their returns. Still, with the deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday April 17th coming, there are plenty of taxpayers with last minute questions.

The IRS’ service center in Plantation has been busy for the past few weeks as Tuesdays’ midnight deadline approaches. It turns out one of the biggest problems this year facing taxpayers is Refund ID fraud. Refund ID fraud hits taxpayers because they find out after the fact that somebody else has already filed for their tax refunds and ripped off their identification.

Tax refund theft is a national epidemic that’s expected to exceed last year. Harvey tried filing his tax return a few days ago and found out somebody else used his ID to fill-out a bogus return and steal his refund.

Tax refund fraud is expected to be cost more than the $6 billion in losses last year.

“It’s kinda scary, you hear about this stuff all the time but when it happens to you you’re like wow,” Harvey said, “this stuff really works.”

The IRS said it’s trying to crack down on identity thieves and has already changed the way it processes tax returns.

“We’ve implemented new ID theft filters when the returns come in,” said Mike Dobzinski of the IRS. “We’ve enhanced our staff and additional personnel for responses to get the information they need and last but not least, prosecuted the individuals responsible for refund fraud.”

If you think your tax ID’s been stolen, contact the IRS immediately to file an identity theft affidavit: Form 140-39. Also, contact your bank and credit card companies and double check all your bank and credit card statements for any possible unauthorized charges.

Some local victims complained it’s impossible to get the IRS to say when it’ll send out their legitimate refunds.

“They just don’t want to put out the money. They don’t want to spend the time to investigate,” said Miramar’s Margarita Quire, who thinks she’s been scammed. “It all comes back to us, the consumer, and that’s wrong because when we owe them we have to pay up or we go to jail.”

Some local victims complained the IRS still won’t say when it’ll send out their legitimate refunds. Despite all the last-minute problems, if you still can’t make this years’ April 17th midnight deadline, you’ll need a Form 4868 for an extension.

But the IRS said that’s just for an extension to file your return and you still have to include any estimated payments to avoid extra interest charges or penalties.

Remember, if you haven’t already filed your taxes, you only have until Tuesday night at 11:59 or you have to file an extension.

For more information from the Federal Trade Commission on fighting ID theft, click here.


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