Tax-Related Identity Theft
Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number (SSN) to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.
Know the Warning Signs
Be on the alert if you are contacted by the IRS or your tax professional/provider and are informed that:
- More than one tax return was filed using your SSN.
- You owe additional tax, have a refund off set or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
- IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer for whom you did not work.
Steps to Take if You Become a Victim
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends the following steps:
- File a complaint with the FTC at identitytheft.gov.
- Contact one of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® – to place a fraud alert on your credit records.
- Contact your financial institutions and close any financial or credit accounts that were tampered with or opened without your permission.
The IRS Recommends These Additional Steps:
- Respond immediately to any IRS notice; call the number provided.
- Visit irs.gov to access and complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, if your e-filed return is rejected because of a duplicate filing under your SSN or if the IRS instructs you to do so.
If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return.
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