IRS identity theft hits Archdiocese of Portland, affiliated churches, schools

Employees and volunteers of the Archiodicese of Portland and affiliated churches and schools have been the victims of tax identity fraud, the archdiocese says in a recent mailing.

The victims’ Social Security numbers were used to file fraudulent federal tax returns for the 2013 tax year, according to the mailer.

Victims found out about the fraud after they attempted to file tax returns electronically but were rejected, according to a note sent to Central Catholic High School parents Thursday from principal John Garrow. An error message from the Internal Revenue Service says that a tax return has already been filed under the Social Security number.

“This situation has affected many people associated with the Archdiocese of Portland,” Garrow’s note said. “Unfortunately, to date there has been no resolution on the source of the breach of privacy.”

The Archdiocese of Seattle reported similar tax identity fraud last month that affected current and former employees and volunteers. The Archdiocese of Seattle hired a forensic security firm but does not know the source of the problem, the Archdiocese of Portland wrote in its mailer. The archdioceses are working with the IRS to determine if there’s a connection.

— Yuxing Zheng

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