H.R. 4362: STOP Identity Theft Act of 2012

H.R. 4362

STOP Identity Theft Act of 2012

July 31, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 31, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 4362, the STOP Identity Theft Act of 2012, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval.  H.R. 4362 was introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on April 16, 2012, and was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, which held a mark-up and reported the bill on July 10, 2012 by a voice vote. 

Bill Summary

H.R. 4362 would call for the Attorney General to do the following:

  1. Make use of all existing resources of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including task forces, to bring more perpetrators of tax return identity theft to justice; and
  2. Take into account the need to concentrate efforts in areas of the country where the crime is most frequently reported, to coordinate with state and local authorities to prosecute and prevent such crime, and to protect vulnerable groups from becoming victims or otherwise being used in the offense.

The bill would amend the federal criminal code to do the following:

  1. Define "means of identification" to mean any name or number used to identify a specific person (currently, any specific individual); and
  2. Make tax fraud a predicate offense for aggravated identity theft.

H.R. 4362 would direct the Attorney General to include in the first annual DOJ performance report made more than nine months after the date of this Act’s enactment information as to progress in implementing this Act regarding the following:

  1. Information readily available to DOJ about trends in the incidence of tax return identity theft;
  2. The effectiveness of statutory tools in aiding DOJ in prosecuting it;
  3. Recommendations on additional statutory tools that would aid in removing barriers to effective prosecution; and
  4. The status of implementing DOJ's March 2010 audit report on DOJ efforts to combat identity theft.


CBO expects that the legislation could result in a reallocation of DOJ resources, but they estimate that implementing the bill would have no significant net cost to the federal government.  Enacting H.R. 4362 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.