WASHINGTON, DC and ATLANTA (April 2, 2014) – LexisNexis® Risk Solutions today announced the company has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for “systems and methods for detecting tax refund fraud,” the key functionality of its Tax Refund Investigative Solution.
In a 2012 report, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that billions of taxpayer dollars are being paid to fraudsters unnecessarily due to identity theft. The problem also is occurring at the state level, where criminals use fake identities to request tax refunds in the 43 states with an income tax.
“The ability to file electronically has made it easier for taxpayers to submit their returns – and they are doing so in growing numbers, said Haywood Talcove, Chief Executive Officer, Government, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Unfortunately, as a result of electronic filing, organized criminal groups – both domestic and international – are now able to file fake refunds in mass quantities. Our new technology allows revenue agencies to take a new approach to a new problem – identity theft in tax administration – and, at the same time help protect taxpayers’ identities.”
According to TIGTA’s Semiannual Report to Congress , more taxpayers’ identities were stolen in tax refund crimes in the first six months of 2013 than in all of 2012. In addition, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has reported identity theft resulted in more than $24.7 billion in financial losses nationwide in 2012. This patented technology gets to the root of the identity theft problem by focusing on identities. The Tax Refund Investigative Solution detects fraudulent tax return refund requests by comparing personally identifiable information with billions of identity records from thousands of accurate and reliable public records sources, allowing for a quick assessment of potentially fraudulent activity. Five states are using the patented LexisNexis technology in 2014, and over the last two years have stopped over 1.5 percent of all the refunds submitted.
“If more revenue agencies avail themselves of this newly patented technology, the ‘pay and chase’ approach to fighting identity theft-related tax refund fraud can be a thing of the past,” said Andrew Bucholz, an inventor of the solution and Vice President, Marketing Planning, Government, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “It is now possible for revenue agencies to verify and authenticate the identity of the filer in a matter of a few days before issuing the check, thereby helping to prevent tax refund fraud altogether.”
About LexisNexis Risk Solutions
LexisNexis® Risk Solutions includes seven brands that span multiple industries and sectors. We harness the power of data, sophisticated analytics platforms and technology solutions to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit LexisNexis Risk Solutions and RELX.