Tax refund fraud 2015: Americans, in total, spend 6 billion hours a year doing their taxes. They do it because it's a requirement - but also because it's a lifeline. For 70% of Americans, the tax refund is the biggest paycheck they'll receive all year.
Tax refund fraud, which has tripled in the last three years, threatens to take that lifeline away now more than ever. Currently, a little over $5 billion is lost every year to tax fraud according to Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates. From 2013 to 2014, the number of people who identified themselves as tax fraud victims jumped by 36%. Already this year, 19 states' tax authorities reported high volumes of fraudulent returns.