Internal Revenue Service officials are giving "misleading" information to taxpayers who have been victims of identity fraud about how long they will have to wait for tax refunds.

The taxpayers are being told their wait could be as long as 180 days, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said in a report made public Thursday, but the IRS's own records suggest the delay in getting refunds could be much longer.

The IRS's "misleading" promise to individuals whose personal information has been used by someone else to file a fraudulent return "creates a false portrayal" of the agency's attempts to improve a process already infamous for lengthy delays, the inspector general said.

Taxpayers had to wait an average of 278 days to see their cases resolved. In one instance, the IRS didn't pay a taxpayer their full return for 762 days, or well more than two years.

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