With identity theft involving tax returns on the rise, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. wants the Internal Revenue Service to be able to share more information with local investigators.
In a guest column for The Wall Street Journal over the weekend, Vance said thousands of taxpayers will see their returns rejected because an identity thief has already filed a phony return in their name.
But he says prosecutors' hands are tied when they look into these cases because federal law bars the IRS from handing over the fake returns.
Vance wants Washington to free up the IRS to help local authorities crack down on tax scammers.
"We have the capacity to do these cybercrime cases. We have our own cybercrime lab. And what we think the Congress should do is change the law so that the federal government can provide local authorities with federal tax returns so that we can prosecute individuals who are committing 5 billion dollars of theft a year," Vance said.
The DA says IRS data show says identity theft tax cases are up 650 percent since 2008.