INDIANOLA, Iowa—Jason Dinesen smiled politely and shook his head when asked about a new bill in the U.S. Senate that aims to improve how the IRS handles cases of identity theft by assigning one agent to deal with each individual case.
“I’m skeptical about the bill. Having an assigned contact person is a good idea in theory, but it’s not going to do much unless there are some other major changes at the IRS,” Dinesen said.
Wendy Boka wasn’t just any client. She was a close friend and had been married to Dinesen’s college roommate, Brian Boka. Wendy and Brian were Dinesen’s first clients when he opened his accounting firm in Indianola.
Brian Boka died in early 2010, leaving Wendy a widow at age 29. She moved to Texas in December 2010 to start a new chapter in her life.
But she didn’t change accountants.
In April 2011, Dinesen e-filed Wendy and Brian’s final joint tax return.
The e-file was rejected.
“I thought it was just a software glitch. That’s not uncommon,” Dinesen said.
He refiled and it was rejected again.
Dinesen called the IRS and was told a tax return using Brian Boka’s Social Security number already had been filed.
“I had to call Wendy and tell her someone had stolen Brian’s identity and was using it to try to get a refund check,” Dinesen said.