Reporting Fraud and Abuse Within the IRS e-file Program


All Authorized IRS e-file Providers must be on the lookout for fraud and abuse in the IRS e-file Program. Here's what to look for and how to report it: Indicators of abusive or fraudulent returns may be unsatisfactory responses to filing status questions, multiple returns with the same address, and missing or incomplete Schedules A and C income and expense documentation. A "fraudulent return" is a return in which the individual is attempting to file using someone else's name or SSN on the return or where the taxpayer is presenting documents or information that have no basis in fact.

Note: Fraudulent returns should not be filed with the Service. A "potentially abusive return" is a return that

  1. is not a fraudulent return;
  2. the taxpayer is required to file;
  3. but may contain inaccurate information and may lead to an understatement of a liability or an overstatement of a credit resulting in production of a refund to which the taxpayer may not be entitled.

Note: A financial institution's decision to deny a bank product is not necessarily an indication of a potentially abusive return.

You should report fraudulent or abusive returns, including those with questionable Forms W-2, to the IRS by submitting Form 3949-A, Information ReferralPDF. You can also report fraudulent or abusive returns without using the IRS form but you must still send the information to the address shown on Form 3949-A. Your report should include information for the appropriate fields from the Report Format below. The report should include a delimited text file with the "Field" names from the report format below being in the first row. If the report is not for questionable Forms W-2, the "Notes" field should be used to describe the false items on the return.

Report Format




Acknowledgement Date IRS Acknowledgement MM/DD/YYYY
DCN IRS Acknowledgement 14 numbers including leading zeroes
Primary SSN Return Like 123-12-1234
Primary Taxpayer Name Return Full name as spelled on return in 1 field 
Taxpayer Address Line 1 Return  Full address shown on return 
Taxpayer Address City Return City part of address shown on return
Taxpayer Address State Return State part of address shown on return
Taxpayer Address Zip Return Zip part of address shown on return
Employee SSN Form W-2 Like 123-12-1234
Employee Name Form W-2  Full name as spelled on Form W-2 in 1 field
Employer EIN Form W-2 Like 12-1234567
Employer Name Form W-2 Full name as spelled on Form W-2 in 1 field
Employer Contact Name Person calling Employer

to verify Form W-2

Full name in 1 field
Employer Contact Phone Person calling Employer

to verify Form W-2

Like 123-123-1234 
Notes Person submitting report Multi-line note field