Online Security

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
  • 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 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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