Are You at Risk for Tax-Related Identity Theft?

You might not be the only one filing a tax return with your Social Security number on it.

Tax-related identity theft is when someone uses your Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund. This kind of theft usually occurs early in the filing season – because the scammers want to get their fake return in before you get your real return filed.

You might not realize you’re the victim of tax-related identity theft until you get a letter from the IRS telling you:

  • More than one tax return was filed for you.
  • You owe additional tax, have a refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
  • IRS records show you received wages from an employer you don’t recognize.

If your SSN is compromised and you know or suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft:

  1. Respond immediately to any IRS notice by calling the number on the letter.
  2. Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
  3. Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.

If you previously contacted the IRS and did not have a resolution, contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at (800) 908-4490.

More information: or FTC’s

You’ll also need to do three things to protect yourself:

  1. File a report with the local police.
  2. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at (877) 438-4338 or TTY (866) 653-4261.
  3. Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records:
  •  (800) 525-6285
  • (888) 397-3742
  • (800) 680-7289

Helpful Resources