We previously reported that identity theft resulted in $3.1 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in 2014. However, many believe this figure to be significantly higher. Wrongdoers are using such Social Security numbers to trigger a refund from the IRS or state revenue offices. Those perpetrating the fraud, besides using the Social Security numbers of actual taxpayers, may be also using the Social Security numbers of deceased taxpayers or children.
Federal regulators put the earned income tax credit (EITC) in place to benefit low- and moderate-income individuals. The EITC particularly benefits individuals with children. Families with three or more qualifying children could claim up a maximum of $6,269 as a result of the EITC. And taxpayers without children could also qualify. The EITC differs from other credits in that even individuals who owe no tax may be eligible for a refund.