General Info
Iowa Judicial Branch Orders. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Iowa Judical Branch   
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 14:35

This section of the site contains orders of statewide interest recently issued by the Iowa Supreme Court. Orders will be posted in this section for one year from the date they are first posted.

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Request for Public Comment Regarding Recommendations of the Iowa Supreme Court 2012 Child Support Guidelines Review Committee (January 25, 2013

Order (89 kb)


Filed with the clerk of the Iowa Supreme Court office on January 25, 2013

Final Report of Review Committee (3592 kb)



In the Matter of Establishment of the Iowa Business Specialty Court Pilot Project (December 21, 2012)

Supervisory Order and Memorandum of Operation (345 kb)



In the Matter of Amendments to Iowa Court Rules Regulating the Practice of Law (December 10, 2012)

The Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice has signed an order amending various rules of Division III (Professional Regulation) of the Iowa Court Rules. With two exceptions noted in the order, these amendments are effective immediately. Also accompanying the order is a summary of the amendments.

Order (27 kb)


Amendments to Iowa Court Rules Regulating the Practice of Law (254 kb)


Comments to Amendments to Iowa Court Rules Regulating the Practice of Law (177 kb)



In the Matter of Appointments to the Committee on Expanded Media Coverage (December 7, 2012)

Order (380 kb)



Corrected Expanded Media Coverage Committee Order

Nunc Pro Tunc (47 kb)



Request for Public Comment Regarding Proposed Emeritus Pro Bono Practice Rule (December 6, 2012).

Order (309 kb)



Request for Public Comment Regarding Proposed rules governing the filing of electronic documents in the Iowa Appellate Courts (December 6, 2012).

Order (546 kb)



Request for public comment regarding proposed collection activities (October 25, 2012)

Order (84 kb)


Proposed new Chapter 26 (288 kb)



In the Matter of the Electronic Document Management System and Standard eForms of Pleadings for Small Claims Actions (October 25, 2012)

Supervisory Order (72 kb)


www.iowacourts.gov/Online_Court_Services/EDMS/

Small Claims eForms (591 kb)



In the Matter of Appointments to the Advisory Committee Concerning Certain Civil Justice Reform Task Force Recommendations (October 10, 2012)

Order (78 kb)



Request for public comment regarding a proposed new rule of juvenile procedure 8.36 (August 30, 2012)

Order (140 kb)


New Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.36 (228 kb)


Iowa Standards of Practice for Attorneys Representing Parents in Juvenile Court (1818 kb)


Public Comments on Proposed New Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.36 (Oct. 31, 2012) (29813 kb)


Additional comment (November 1, 2012) (792 kb)



Request for public comment regarding amendments to Professional Regulation of the Iowa Court Rules (August 27, 2012)

Order (420 kb)


Proposed amendments to Professional Regulation (142 kb)



Request for public comment regarding amendments to Chapters 6 and 21 of the Iowa Court Rules (August 27, 2012)

Order (496 kb)


Proposed amendments to Chapters 6 and 21 (107 kb)



Request for Comments to Proposed New Rule of Civil Procedure 1.1702 (August 3, 2012)

Order (407 kb)


Proposed New Rule (88 kb)



In the Matter of Rules for Involuntary Commitments or Treatment of Persons with Substance-Related Disorders (July 5, 2012)

Supervisory Order and Chapter 13 (516 kb)



In the Matter of Mileage Reimbursement (June 29, 2012)

Supervisory Order (32 kb)



In the Matter of EDMS and Standard Forms of Pleadings for Small Claims (June 29, 2012)

Supervisory Order (991 kb)



In the Matter of Forms for Court Orders Issued in Small Claims Court (June 28, 2012)

Supervisory Order and Forms for Court Orders (3515 kb)



In the Matter of Appointments to the 2012 Iowa Child Support Guidelines Review Committee (June 11, 2012)

Nunc Pro Tunc (103 kb)



In the Matter of Appointments to the 2012 Iowa Child Support Guidelines Review Committee (June 11, 2012)

Order (533 kb)



In the Matter of the Notice on Court-Generated Documents in Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (May 1, 2012)

Supervisory Order (56 kb)



In the Matter of Revision of Interim Rules 16.306(5) and (6) Relating to Signatures in the Electronic Document Management System (April 24, 2012)

Supervisory Order (82 kb)


Revised 16.306(5) and (6) (36 kb)



Request for comments to proposed amendments to lawyer advertising rules (April 20, 2012)

Order (386 kb)


Proposed amendments (12844 kb)



Request for comments to proposed amendments to Rule 31.16 Registration of House Counsel (March 21, 2012)

Order (77 kb)


Proposed New Rule (304 kb)



In the Matter of Interim Rules to Govern the use of the Electronic Document Management System (March 1, 2012)

The Iowa Supreme Court amends the interim rules of Chapter 16 of the Iowa Court Rules governing EDMS

Order (77 kb)


Chapter 16 interim rules (349 kb)


Summary (43 kb)


General Commentary (114 kb)



Request for comments to proposed amendments to Rule of Appellate Procedure (February 10, 2012)

Order (244 kb)


Proposed New Rule (186 kb)



Request for comments to proposed amendments to Rules of Civil Procedure (December 2, 2011)

Order (575 kb)


Proposed New Rule (479 kb)



Request for comments to proposed amendments to Rules of Juvenile Procedures (November 23, 2011)

Order (103 kb)


Juvenile amendments (11 kb)



Request for comments to proposed amendments to rules regulating the practice of law (November 17, 2011)

Order (429 kb)


Summary (96 kb)


Proposed amendments (200 kb)



In the Matter of Request for Public Comment Regarding Proposed Small Claims Pleadings Forms (October 7, 2011)

Order (550 kb)


Small Claims Forms (944 kb)



In the Matter of Formation of the Small Claims Forms Advisory Committee (May 18, 2011)

Order (619 kb)



In the Matter of the Supreme Court Committee to Study Lawyer Advertising Rules (April 15, 2011)

Order (466 kb)



In the Matter of Rescission of Standard Forms of Pleadings for Small Claims Actions (April 6, 2011)

Supervisory Order (206 kb)



In the Matter of Temporary Rules Governing the Electronic Document Management System and Use of Standard Forms of Pleadings for Small Claims Actions (April 4, 2011)

Temporary rules governing EDMS to exempt electronic filers in Small Claims actions until further notice of this court

Supervisory Order (364 kb)



In the Matter of Standard Forms of Pleadings for Small Claims Actions (April 1, 2011)

The March 28, 2011, order contained typographical errors in the numbering sequence of the new and amended Small Claims forms compared to the prior forms being replaced. The forms themselves were correctly numbered.

Amended Order (427 kb)



In the Matter of Standard Forms of Pleadings for Small Claims Actions (March 28, 2011)

The Court rescinds Chapter 3 of the Iowa Court Rules, Standard Forms of Pleadings for Small Claims Actions, in its entirety. The court approves and adopts the revised Chapter 3 of the Iowa Court Rules attached to this Order.
Effective April 4, 2011


Order (6666 kb)


Standard Forms (pdf) (774 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Jefferson and Louisa County Clerk of Court Offices (March 9, 2011)

Effective immediately

Nunc Pro Tunc (170 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Jefferson and Louisa County Clerk of Court Offices (March 9, 2011)

Effective immediately.

Supervisory Order (181 kb)



In the Matter of Amendments to Iowa Court Rules Chapter 4; Form 4.11 (February 2, 2011)

Effective immediately.

Order and Form 4.11 (895 kb)



In the Matter of Amendments to Iowa Court Rules Chapter 4: Forms 4.1, 4.2, 4.11, and 4.15 (December 27, 2010)

Effective immediately

Supervisory Order (3402 kb)



In the Matter of the Appointment of the EMC Media Coordinator for Region 3

Effective December 17, 2010.

Order (192 kb)



Proposed Adoption of 2005 Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (December 7, 2010)

Deadline for comments is March 7, 2011

Order (2271 kb)


Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (166 kb)


Chapter 11 Study Group (2195 kb)



In the Matter of the Retention of a Private Court Reporter in a Civil Case: Amendment to January 6, 2010 Order (November 24, 2010)

Effective immediately

Supervisory Order (835 kb)



In the Matter of Temporary Rules to Govern the Use of the Electronic Document Management System Plymouth County and Story County (November 4, 2010)

Supervisory Order (538 kb)


Chapter 16 - Rules Pertaining to the Use of the Electronic Document Management System (12070 kb)


Protected Information Disclosure (424 kb)


Small Claims Original Notice and Petition (3124 kb)


Notice of Transcript Redaction (445 kb)


General Commentary on Electronic Filing Rules (118 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Chickasaw and Howard County Clerk of Court Offices (October 19, 2010)

Effective October 25, 2010

Supervisory Order (207 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Greene County Clerk of Court Office (September 29, 2010)

Effective October 12, 2010

Supervisory Order (185 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Boone County Clerk of Court Office (September 29, 2010)

Effective October 5, 2010

Supervisory Order (177 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Adams, Ringgold and Taylor County Clerk of Court offices (September 29, 2010)

Effective October 4, 2010

Supervisory Order (189 kb)



In the Matter of the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Fine Collection Procedures, Practices and Rules (September 24, 2010)

Effective immediately

Order (928 kb)



In the Matter of the Public Hours of the Office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts (September 15, 2010)

Effective September 20, 2010

Supervisory Order (465 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Jones County Clerk of Court Office (August 18, 2010)

Effective August 30, 2010

Supervisory Order (167 kb)



In the Matter of the Appointment of Members to Serve on the Civil Justice Reform Task Force (August 6, 2010)

Supervisory Order (106 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Worth County Clerk of Court Office (August 4, 2010)

Effective September 10, 2010

Supervisory Order (181 kb)



In the Matter of Expanded Media Coverage of the Courts (July 21, 2010)

The supreme court has reorganized the jurisdiction of media coordinators for Jackson County.
Effective August 1, 2010

Order (171 kb)



In the Matter of Interim Procedures Governing the Collection of Court Fines and Fees (July 2, 2010)

Upon recommendation of the Judicial Council, the supreme court adopts interim provisions that will govern installment payment plans and other fine collection activities of the judicial branch until the adoption of permanent rules.
Effective July 12, 2010

Supervisory Order (1250 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Floyd County Clerk of Court Office (May 13, 2010)

Effective May 20, 2010

Supervisory Order (174 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Davis County Clerk of Court Office (May 4, 2010)

Effective May 10, 2010

Supervisory Order (176 kb)



In the Matter of Adoption of EDMS Rules for Pilot Project in Plymouth County (April 21, 2010)

Effective immediately

Supervisory Order (581 kb)


Chapter 16 - Rules Pertaining to the Use of the Electronic Document Management System (12017 kb)


Protected Information Disclosure (520 kb)


Small Claims Original Notice and Petition (2292 kb)


General Commentary on Electronic Filing Rules (2274 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of the Guthrie County Clerk of Court Office (April 13, 2010)

Effective immediately

Supervisory Order (173 kb)



In the Matter of the Business Hours of the Fremont County Clerk of Court Office (April 6, 2010)

Effective April 5, 2010

Supervisory Order (167 kb)



In the Matter of Appointment to the Task Force for Civil Justice Reform (March 23, 2010)

Effective immediately

Order (123 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of Clerk of Court Offices (March 19, 2010)

Fremont county
Effective April 5, 2010

Supervisory Order (186 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of Clerk of Court Offices (February 11, 2010)

Jefferson county
effective February 12, 2010

Supervisory Order (180 kb)



In the Matter of Prioritization of Cases and Duties (February 4, 2010)

Amendment to Order of December 1, 2009
Effective immediately

Supervisory Order (323 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of Clerk of Court Offices (January 28, 2010)

Fifth District
effective February 1, 2010

Supervisory Order (252 kb)



In the Matter of Changes to the Business Hours of Clerk of Court Offices (January 26, 2010)

First, Second and Sixth districts
effective February 1, 2010

Supervisory Order (286 kb)



Proposed Revised Iowa Code of Judicial Conduct (January 19, 2010)

Chapter 51
Deadline for comments is March 19, 2010.

Order and Proposed Code (581 kb)



In the Matter of Private Retention of Court Reporters in Civil Cases (January 6, 2010)

Supervisory order (500 kb)



In the Matter of Appointments to the Task Force for Civil Justice Reform (December 18, 2009)

Order (655 kb)



In the Matter of Court Closure Days and Public Hours of Clerk of Court Offices (December 2, 2009)

Supervisory Order (63 kb)



In the Matter of Prioritization of Cases and Duties (December 1, 2009)

Supervisory Order (1318 kb)



In the Matter of the Public Hours of Clerk of Court Offices (November 17, 2009)

Supervisory Order (2646 kb)



In the Matter of Actions Taken to Reduce Judicial Branch Operating Expenses (November 12, 2009)

Supervisory Order (1443 kb)



In The Matter of Court Closure and Unpaid Leave Days (November 10, 2009)

Supervisory Order (497 kb)



In the Matter of Actions Taken to Reduce Judicial Branch Operating Expenses for Fiscal Year 2010 (June 25, 2009)

Supervisory Order (162 kb)



In the Matter of Court Closure Days and Reduced Public Hours (May 29, 2009)

Supervisory Order (288 kb)



In the Matter of Appointments to the Digital Audio Recording Technology Committee of the Judicial Council (May 7, 2009)

Order (380 kb)



In the Matter of Court Closure and Unpaid Leave Days: May 8 (May 5, 2009)

Supervisory Order (452 kb)



In the Matter of Mileage Reimbursement (March 31, 2009)

Supervisory Order (315 kb)



Actions Concerning Judicial Operations (March 13, 2009)

Supervisory Order (228 kb)



Action Taken to Reduce Operating Expenses (February 27, 2009)

Supervisory Order (186 kb)



Hearing on Proposed Rules (February 24, 2009)

A hearing is scheduled on Thursday, March 5, 2009, regarding minutes of evidence.

Order Setting Hearing Schedule (Feb. 24, 2009) (480 kb)


Order Setting Amended Hearing Schedule (March 2, 2009) (477 kb)


Order (Feb. 13, 2009) (749 kb)



Actions Taken to Reduce Judicial Branch Operating Expenses (February 2, 2009)

Supervisory Order (783 kb)



Proposed Amendments to the Rules of Criminal Procedure (December 2, 2008)

Information about witnesses
Deadline for comments is January 2, 2009

Chapter 2, Rule 2.4 and 2.5 (589 kb)



Proposed Amendments to Iowa Court Rules (November 12, 2008)

Licensing and Practice of Foreign Legal Consultants
Deadline for comments is December 12, 2008

Chapter 31, Rule 31.14 and 31.18 (5008 kb)



In the Matter of Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.422 (September 23, 2008)

Rule 1.422

Supervisory Order (150 kb)



Proposed Amendments to the Rules of Criminal Procedure (June 23, 2008)

Information about witnesses
Deadline for comments is July 23, 2008

Chapter 2, Rule 2.4 and 2.5 (96 kb)


Order (355 kb)



Final Report of the Child Support Guidelines Review Committee

Final Report of the Child Support Guidelines Review Committee (378 kb)


Proposed Amendments to Chapter 9 (348 kb)


Rule 9.27, Forms 1 and 2 (418 kb)



Revisions to Electronic Document Management System Proposed Rules (June 10, 2008)

Public Notice (47 kb)


General commentary (71 kb)


Chapter 16--Pertaining to the use of EDMS (258 kb)



Proposed Amendments to Rules of Appellate Procedure and Rules of Civil Procedure Concerning Certiorari (June 6, 2008)

Deadline for comments is August 6, 2008

Order (81 kb)


Proposed Amendments to Rules of Appellate Procedure (851 kb)


Summary of Key Changes (238 kb)


Proposed Amendments to Rules of Civil Procedure (113 kb)



Appointments to the Supreme Court Limited Jurisdiction Task Force (January 14, 2008)

Appointment Order (205 kb)


Resolution in Support of the Pew Commission (September 10, 2007) (86 kb)



Filing by facsimile transmission (August 6, 2007)

Order granting filing by facsimile transmission of certain documents in chapters 125 and 229 commitment proceedings
Effective immediately

Order (66 kb)



Uniform Bond Schedule (August 2, 2007)

Order amending uniform bond schedule

Order and bond schedule (97 kb)



Instructions to Compensation Commissioners from the Chief Justice (January 12, 2007)

Instructions (208 kb)

 
Thune, Grassley Express Concern Over Approval of Foreign Purchase of Taxpayer-Funded A123 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 14:32

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today expressed concern over the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’ (CFIUS) decision to approve the China-based Wanxiang Group Corps.’ investment in failed stimulus-funded battery company, A123. Thune and Grassley, who have taken the lead in seeking answers from both the Obama administration and A123 on the use of taxpayer dollars to fund the now-bankrupt green energy company, had urged CFIUS to protect U.S. national security and taxpayer interests as part of the transaction. A123 received over $130 million in taxpayer funds through the president’s stimulus bill, including $1 million the day it declared bankruptcy.

“I am troubled by the Obama administration’s approval of the Wanxiang purchase of A123,” said Thune. “Technology produced by A123 and funded by U.S. taxpayers should not simply be shipped off to China so that the military applications for these materials can be reproduced abroad. Senator Grassley and I remain concerned about the national security implications of this transaction and have called on CFIUS for a full briefing of the review. We will continue to press for answers regarding our national security and taxpayer interests.”

“We don’t have any answers on what will happen to the technology funded by the U.S. taxpayers,” Grassley said. “We don’t have any answers on whether U.S. national security concerns are protected. The only thing that’s clear is a foreign-owned company will benefit from the millions of dollars given to A123 through the President’s stimulus package. That’s troubling.”

On August 14, 2012, Thune and Grassley sent a letter to the Department of Energy after A123 announced a $450 million investment deal with Wanxiang to express concern about tax dollars going to a struggling company. There were clear indications that A123 was having financial problems even as the administration continued to pour millions of taxpayer dollars into the failing company.

On October 9, 2012, Thune and Grassley sent a letter to A123 expressing their concerns regarding the company’s potential agreement to grant Wanxiang majority control of the company. On October 16, 2012, A123 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and appeared to withdraw from the deal with Wanxiang. Instead, Wanxiang went to auction and bid on A123’s assets to acquire the company as part of the bankruptcy proceedings. CFIUS, which is charged with reviewing foreign investments, approved the transaction, according to an announcement today from Wanxiang.

###

 
Loebsack Public Schedule for Tuesday, January 29 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 14:04

WHO Congressman Dave Loebsack

Davenport School officials

Parents

Mental Health Experts

WHAT Dave will facilitate a discussion about school safety with educators, school administrators, parents’ organizations and mental health professionals.

WHERE Wood Intermediate School

5107 North Division Street

Davenport

TIME 10:00am

 

Ride Along with DeWitt Police Chief

WHO Congressman Dave Loebsack

Chief Dave Porter

WHAT Dave will ride-along with Chief Porter on a tour of DeWitt

WHERE DeWitt Police Department

606 9th Street

TIME Tour begins at 4:00pm

 

###

 
The 5 Steps to Wowing Your Lady on Valentine’s Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 28 January 2013 16:33

How will your 2013 Valentine’s Day be remembered? Good, bad, or, worse yet – indifferent!?

Fear not – there is a way of attaining the best outcome this Feb. 14, which is just around the corner.

Sadly, there are too many women – both single and attached – that feel especially lonely during this time of year. If you’re responsible for the romance in a woman’s life, you want to treat her right. Roses, a candle-lit dinner with atmospheric music and perhaps a post-dinner drive along Beach Avenue are sufficient details to cover the norm. These basics show your special lady that you are at least trying … But how does one go about WOWing her?

No matter what she might say, dressing down the holiday, like staying home and ordering your sweet heart’s favorite topping for takeout pizza, simply will not do.

While many men will not grasp the seemingly arbitrary importance of a typically frigid mid-February evening, the important thing to remember is you don’t have to. It’s not about you; it’s about her, and this is the only idea you need to keep in mind.

As a relationship expert and chef with two published books on relationships and one on recipes, I recommend creating a lasting memory with new and novel ideas. The brain’s feel-good “love” chemical – oxytocine – usually increases when women are presented with novel activities, beyond those established and preferred routines, according to recent studies.

Abandon old traditions and do something to sweep her off her feet with these five steps:

1. Before the big day, drive her wild with anticipation by telling her that you have the most amazing surprise for her. This promise will keep her guessing and make her think about your evening.

2. Know her favorite flowers. If you don’t, don’t panic. You can find out by making a comment, like “I’ve noticed plants blooming early this year …” and steer the conversation from there. In a beautiful vase, arrange an exotic bouquet and hide it somewhere in your home on the special day. She’ll like that you created the presentation.

3. Go to your local chocolate shop and select her favorite kinds of chocolate. Have it boxed and nicely wrapped to prevent her from knowing what it is when you present the chocolates to her.

4. Create a dish and name it after her. For example, if her name is Anne, you might call the dish “Tournedos Princess Anne.” This step is the most important. I can assure you that after having spent time in some top-notch restaurants, food that is named after a person is a special honor. We all know how women love it when their men do the cooking. What I do is cut and precook the vegetables, and I even make the sauce beforehand to make sure I get it as perfect as I can. Leave everything in the fridge. Then, on Valentine’s Day, I set the table before I start the cooking part. On both plates, place a fresh RED ROSE. The single rose is just part of making her think that that is all the flowers she will be getting (but we know differently). When she gets home, make sure to get her to promise you that she’ll stay out of the kitchen. Tell her not to spoil the surprise!

5. When everything is ready, plate the food, cover it and take it to the dining table, and then ask her to come and sit. Before you uncover the lid, have her close her eyes. Retrieve the hidden bouquet, place the flowers on the table, and ask her to open her eyes. Pay attention to how she responds. Tell her what you’ve named the dish.

But that’s not all – after the meal, take her by the hand, walk her to the living room and sit her down. Bring out the boxed chocolate, go on one knee and tell her, “This is for you,” or, “You make me feel whole,” or, “You are the most beautiful woman in the world and I love you.”

Overkill? – Not at all. Remember, you don’t have to know why this works, but only that it does work.

About Ernest Quansah

Ernest Quansah (www.relationshipadviceforsuccess.com) is a love relationship success expert with more than a decade of experience. He is the president of Relationship Advice for Success, and founder of Online Dating, Relationship, and Marriage School (ODRMS). After much research and experience with heartache – divorce, breakups and the devastating consequences – he has discovered the keys to finding and maintaining meaningful, long-lasting romantic relationships. He is also the author of Do’s and Don’ts of Relationships: Nine Steps to a Deeper, Richer Love Relationship, 2nd edition.

 
Avoiding Tax Refund Identity Fraud PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Steve Burke   
Monday, 28 January 2013 16:32

By Jason Alderman

Many people file their income tax returns as early in the year as possible. Some are eager to claim their tax refund right away, while others are simply following their New Year's resolution not to procrastinate until midnight, April 15.

Let me add another good reason to file your taxes right away: tax refund identity fraud.

That's where someone uses your Social Security number (SSN), birth date and other private information to file a fraudulent income tax return in your name and then pockets the resulting tax refund. Often, a victim's first clue is a letter from the IRS contesting their legitimate tax return, saying one has already been processed under that name. It can take months – and mounds of paperwork – to unravel the mess.

This scam has proliferated in recent years thanks to a confluence of events:

  • There's a thriving black market in personal information stolen from healthcare facilities, nursing homes, schools, insurance companies and other institutions that require an SSN as identification.
  • The IRS is pressured to begin issuing refunds shortly after taxpayers start filing returns in mid-January, even though employers and financial institutions aren't required to submit withholding and income documentation until the end of March. Thus, disparities often aren't caught until months later.
  • The growing popularity of electronic filing, where hard-copy documentation (like W-2 and 1099 forms) isn't required.
  • Many people receive refunds via direct deposit and prepaid debit cards. Criminals open and close accounts using bogus addresses long before the theft has been detected.

Thanks to severe budget cuts and chronic understaffing – not to mention constantly playing whack-a-mole with thieves who dream up new schemes – the IRS is hard-pressed to keep up. In one extreme example, the agency issued more than $3.3 million in refunds for 2,137 tax returns filed to a single address.

But all is not lost. The IRS has significantly beefed up its fraud-prevention efforts. In 2011, they intercepted nearly 262,000 fraudulent tax returns seeking almost $1.5 billion in refunds related to identity theft. And they now issue special personal identification numbers (PINs) to impacted taxpayers to protect their future tax filings.

So what should you do if you've been victimized? Typically, the IRS will send you a notice that:

  • More than one tax return for you was filed;
  • You have a balance due, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year in which you didn't file a return; or
  • IRS records indicate you received wages from an employer you don't recognize. This could indicate that someone has used your personal information to get a job.

If you receive such a notice, don't ignore it. Complete an Identity Theft Affidavit (IRS Form 14039 at www.irs.gov) and return it with a copy of the notice to the address provided on the notice. If you did not receive a notice but believe you may be at risk, the form contains separate submission instructions.

The IRS's Identity Theft Protection website (www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection) includes tons of helpful information, including ways to tell whether your identity may have been stolen, how to report a breach and tips to avoid identity theft.

And finally, file your tax return as early as possible to beat potential scammers to the punch. If you owe money, you can always file your return now and mail the payment by the April 15 deadline.

 
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