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:
- Respond immediately to any IRS notice by calling the number on the letter.
- Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
- 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.
You’ll also need to do three things to protect yourself:
- File a report with the local police.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at (877) 438-4338 or TTY (866) 653-4261.
- Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records:
- www.Equifax.com (800) 525-6285
- www.Experian.com (888) 397-3742
- www.TransUnion.com (800) 680-7289