Summary: S.3157 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate without amendment (07/12/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to establish requirements and authorities for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) related to: (1) preventing identify theft and tax refund fraud, and (2) the electronic filing of tax returns.

With respect to identity theft and tax refund fraud, the IRS must:

  • develop and implement guidelines for stolen identity refund fraud cases,
  • provide specified notifications and materials to suspected victims of identity theft,
  • examine certain statements and returns for evidence of employment-related identity theft, and
  • establish procedures to ensure that taxpayers are not penalized for the underreporting of income due to identity theft.

The bill also increases civil and criminal penalties associated with identify theft, permits the IRS to transfer funds between accounts to combat tax fraud, and reinstates streamlined critical pay authority for certain IRS information technology positions.

The bill amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act to: (1) require the Social Security Administration to annually request certain information from the IRS to ensure the accuracy of records regarding wages and self-employment income, and (2) permit the IRS to access the Department of Health and Human Service's National Directory of New Hires for the purpose of identifying and preventing fraudulent tax return filings and claims for refunds.

The IRS and the Government Accountability Office must submit to Congress specified reports regarding identify theft and tax refund fraud.

With respect to the electronic filing of returns, the IRS must:

  • establish a program to issue identity protection personal identification numbers to any individual after the individual's identity has been verified,
  • establish an Internet platform for Form 1099 filings,
  • require electronically prepared paper returns to include a scannable code for converting the form to an electronic format, and
  • verify the identity of individuals opening an e-Services account.

The bill also expands the authority of the IRS to require certain taxpayers to file electronic returns.