Revenue details efforts to fight theft from false SC returns

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The director of South Carolina’s tax collection agency says delaying refunds, using software to flag suspicious returns and collecting wage documents quicker will reduce the theft of taxpayers’ money.

Director Rick Reames said those are among the fraud prevention strategies the agency is rolling out this year.

People should not expect to see a refund before March 1, no matter how early they file. Reames said longer processing allows the agency to verify wage documents. While businesses must send W-2 statements to employees by Jan. 31, the government’s deadline is a month later. Legislation would change that.

Former-check-forger-turned-FBI-consultant Frank Abagnale says criminals are stealing billions nationwide by creating fake wage documents.

Abagnale, whose life story was portrayed in “Catch Me If You Can,” is advising the state agency for free.

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