• "I am deeply grateful to the Masonic Village's employees, and will never be able to express my gratitude to all of them." — Catherine L.

  • "I liked my Masonic Charity Foundation charitable gift annuity so much, I opened three more. Why? I might be old-fashioned, but the scriptures have taught me the virtue of looking out for others. Knowing that the funds left in my gift annuities will care for the Masonic Village residents makes me feel wonderful." — Dorothy B.

  • "I am writing to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, just how wonderful the last two years of my mother's life were, thanks to all of you at the Masonic Village at Burlington." — Carol O.

  • "It's not just the Masonic Village's beautiful facilities and the many services that are offered to the residents – most of all, it's the employees. They are personally dedicated it seems to each and every individual here." — Catherine L.

  • "We are equally grateful for the 'loving arms of hospice' that were wrapped around our family in our hour of need." — M.W.

  • "When we decided to come to the Masonic Village at Burlington, we knew it was going to be a very big change in our lives. When we came here, we were very pleased that it was not difficult. We would recommend the Masonic Village highly to a friend." — Joseph and Bertha B.

  • "There is simply no way to express the depth of gratitude I feel for the Masonic Village at Burlington – thank you!" — Jim C.

  • "We know first-hand how very special Acacia Hospice's caregivers are, and we thank every single one of them from the bottom of our hearts." — J.M.

  • "It is with a grateful heart that we extend to you our deepest gratitude for the loving care that Acacia Hospice afforded our beloved Aunt." — M.W.

  • "It has been a source of tremendous relief that my parents were in such caring and professional hands during the final years of their lives." — Jim C.

  • "It takes a very special person to do the job Acacia Hospice's caregivers do every day. We would like you to know we think you have an incredible group of 'Angels.'" — J.M

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Tuesday June 25, 2019

Washington News

Washington Hotline

IRS Security Summit Success

In 2015, the IRS recognized that "identity theft tax refund fraud (IDTTRF) had reached alarming levels." To meet the identity theft challenge, then IRS Commissioner John Koskinen convened the IRS Security Summit on March 19, 2015.

As noted in the latest IRS Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee report, the Security Summit brought together "senior IRS officials, state tax administrators, and the chief executive officers of the leading tax preparation firms, software developers, and tax financial product processors." They all committed to a joint approach to fighting identity theft and tax fraud.

The Security Summit divided into three working groups.
  1. Authentication Group - The group tried to identify ways to strengthen authentication efforts, to validate taxpayers identities and tax return information and to create new techniques for detecting tax fraud.
  2. Information Sharing Group - This group attempted to find methods for government and private entities to share information more effectively.
  3. Strategic Threat Assessment and Response Group - This group viewed the entire tax system and identified areas of vulnerability. It developed strategies to reduce risks, identify threats and create best practices similar to other information technology systems.
By year 2017, the Security Summit showed substantial progress. Identity theft reports declined 40% from 401,000 in 2016 to 242,000 in 2017. Tax returns with confirmed identity theft declined 32% from 883,000 in 2016 to 597,000 in 2017. Fraudulent refunds declined from $6.4 billion in 2016 to $6.0 billion in 2017.

The number of backlogged identity theft reports made by taxpayers also decreased. The "backlogged" reports indicated that the case had not been resolved during that year. In 2013, there were 372,000 backlogged cases, while in 2017 that number had declined over 90% to 34,000.

Editor's Note: Even a $6 billion fraudulent refund amount shows that there is more work to do. However, the Security Summit proves that a coalition of federal, state and local governments can join together with private sector companies to substantially reduce tax fraud crime and protect all Americans.


Published June 29, 2018
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