Local authorities get more power to crack down on tax fraud

Published: 6:17 PM EDT Oct 25, 2012

Authorities in Pennsylvania and seven other states are getting tools to send a message to criminals.

A new program lets the IRS share limited tax information with authorities to crackdown on a growing form of tax fraud.

Authorities said organized crime groups have been filing fraudulent tax returns using real Social Security numbers to steal tax refunds.

"They've actually got real life victims here in Berks County," said U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. "They know the criminals and now they'll have the tool to actually prosecute them and hopefully put an end at least to these criminals engaging in this."

Before this program, the IRS couldn't work with local law enforcers because taxpayer information is confidential.