Date: August 4, 2016
Senate Committee on Finance Reports
S. 3157, the Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act
On July 12, 2016, Senator Hatch (R-UT) introduced S. 3157, the Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act. The Senate Committee on Finance reported the bill the same day. The bill would provide additional protections for individuals when the Secretary of Treasury (the Secretary) determines there may have been unauthorized use of their identities for employment purposes. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
S. 3157 includes the following provisions of interest to the Social Security Administration (SSA):
Suspected Employment-Related Identity Theft
- Would require the Secretary to notify individuals who have or may have been victims of employment-related identity theft. Such notification would include instructions on how to file a report with law enforcement and whether the Secretary has initiated an investigation, among other things.
- Would require the Secretary to review information from tax returns and wage reports—including wage reports processed by SSA for the Internal Revenue Service—to determine whether employment-related identity theft may have occurred. Such information would include mismatches between the SSN on the wage report and: 1) the name on the wage report, or 2) the name on the tax return.
- Would require the Commissioner of Social Security to request, at least annually, such information regarding employment-related identity theft determinations as may be necessary to ensure the accuracy of wage records maintained by SSA. 1
- Would be effective with determinations made after enactment.
Access to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH)
- Would allow the Secretary to access the NDNH to identify and prevent fraudulent tax returns.
- Would be effective upon enactment.
Increasing Electronic Filing of Returns
- Would require employers to increase the number of returns they file electronically by phasing in a reduction in the current threshold of 250 returns as follows:
- from 250 to 200 for calendar year 2019,
- from 200 to 150 for calendar year 2020,
- from 150 to 100 for calendar year 2021,
- from 100 to 50 for calendar year 2022, and
- from 50 to 20 for calendar years thereafter.