IRS News Release  
February 08, 1995

IRS Urges Accuracy to Avoid Delayed Refunds

WASHINGTON - Taxpayers should take time to check and make sure they file accurate income tax returns this year, the Internal Revenue Service said today. Taxpayers should be especially careful to enter correct social security numbers for themselves and their dependents. Incorrect social security numbers delay the processing of returns and the payment of refunds. The IRS also urged taxpayers claiming refundable credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, to make sure they are eligible for the credit and to check the accuracy of their calculations.

IRS is increasing its screening and review of all returns to ensure that only those taxpayers entitled to refunds receive them. But taxpayers entitled to refunds who inadvertently forget to enter numbers or enter incorrect numbers may find their refunds delayed too.

In addition to the IRS' ongoing efforts to verify the accuracy of return information, the IRS has taken several additional steps this year to prevent erroneous refunds from being issued. Because the IRS verifies the social security numbers for all taxpayers, their spouses, and their dependents, refunds on returns with incorrect or missing numbers will be delayed while the IRS checks the accuracy of the refunds claimed.

"I cannot emphasize enough how essential it is for taxpayers to have complete and accurate information on their returns, said Margaret Milner Richardson, Commissioner of Internal Revenue. "Taxpayers should double check the Accuracy of their social security numbers. Any taxpayers who are not sure of their social security numbers should check their social security cards or call the Social Security Administration.

The IRS said that all returns will be subject to accuracy before refunds are issued, without regard to any particular items claimed on the return. Some taxpayers who file and claim refundable credits like the EITC and the motor fuel credit may initially receive their refunds of withheld income tax, followed by a separate refund check for the delayed credit.

Last March, the Treasury Department established a task force to make an independent, comprehensive review of tax refund fraud. The task force reported that while most of the people who claim refunds comply with the law, the growing problem of fraudulent and questionable refund claims, especially those involving refundable credits, requires IRS to take special measures to ensure that only those eligible for a refund actually receive it.

"The Earned Income Tax Credit is for those who earn it." Commissioner Richardson said. "The IRS is committed to ensuring that the Earned Income Tax Credit is there for the 20 million low-income American workers who earn it and need it."

Taxpayers whose returns require additional review will find their refunds delayed. The IRS will send notices to all affected taxpayers to explain the delay, which could be up to eight weeks after the notice is sent. In some cases, when only a portion of the return is being reviewed, the IRS will issue that portion-of the refund not under review.

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