Ask the Times: IRS combats identity theft, refund fraud

Q. I filed my tax return and received notice from the IRS that my tax return had been rejected. I contacted the IRS to find out why, and it appears that I have been the victim of identity theft. Is there anything I can do?

— Larry, Maquoketa, Iowa

A. The IRS is prohibited by federal law from discussing any individual’s private tax matters. According to the IRS:

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes nationwide, and refund fraud caused by identity theft is one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS.

“Last year, the IRS closed 963,000 cases, which is almost double the number for 2012. IRS case resolution timeframe is down to 120-135 days. The IRS understands this is still frustrating for the victim, but these are among our most complex cases and the IRS needs to make sure they confirm the identity of the correct taxpayer. The IRS is working to speed that up.

“The IRS continues to increase both the number and efficiency of the identity theft filters that are used to identify potentially fraudulent returns. Since 2011, the IRS has stopped 15 million suspicious returns, and protected over $50 billion in fraudulent refunds. The IRS is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible, and we’re firmly committed to working with taxpayers to take care of these problems as quickly as possible.”

Here are some resources from

IRS Combats Identity Theft and Refund Fraud on Many Fronts:

Tips for Taxpayers, Victims about Identity Theft and Tax Returns:,-Victims-about-Identity-Theft-and-Tax-Returns-2014.

IRS Criminal Investigation Combats Identity Theft Refund Fraud:

You also may want to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service at 1-877-777-4778 or online at

Q. There used to be a movie theater by SouthPark Mall in Moline near where the OfficeMax, 4215 27th St., Moline, is located. What was the name of the theater?

— Mike, East Moline

A. We contacted the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center at the Davenport Public Library to find out. The librarian checked the Moline city directories and found that the Park Way Theatre, later listed as the Parkway Cinema, was located at 4211 27th St., Moline.

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