One enterprising criminal tax fraud promoter has put a new twist on the concept of “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” in a scheme which might be described as robbing Uncle Sam to pay citizens of the Great White North: persuading Canadian citizens to file fake United States tax forms to collect real refunds from these fraudulent claims.
A Canadian tax fraud promoter who was extradited from Canada and convicted at trial was sentenced to nine years in prison for conspiracy and three counts of wire fraud. The sentencing judge cited the “audacious nature” of his scheme.
In what appears to be a continuing bid to tell taxpayers that in the current economic downturn the IRS “feels our pain,” has become a kinder, gentler government agency and tax collector, and even perhaps that the days of being a “no more Mr. Niceguy” government agency have passed into the days of “No more ‘no more Mr. Niceguy,'” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman recently reminded taxpayers who may be owed a refund for 2005, but have not yet filed their income tax returns for 2005, to claim that refund by filing their return and to do so quickly to avoid losing it.
This may qualify as a continuing effort in light of Commissioner Shulman’s “I feel your pain” comments, published by the IRS in early January, 2009. See Feb 5, 2009 post in this blog, “IRS to Bail Out Taxpayers?” below.
IRS estimates that there is roughly $1.3 billion in unclaimed refunds for tax year 2005 awaiting more than a million taxpayers around the country. Continue reading