Tax-related identity theft is a type of identity theft that revolves around the fraudulent use of a social security number, individual taxpayer identification number or an employer identification number. There are many ways in which tax-related identity theft might transpire and it might not begin with the filing of a fraudulent tax return. A stolen credit card, a lost wallet or a loss of medical records can lead to tax-related identity theft should the victim’s social security number get misused on a tax return filing.
It is important to stay alert, especially if you are contacted by the IRS or your tax preparer about the following:
- More than one tax return was filed using your SSN, TIN or EIN
- You owe additional tax, refund was offset, or have 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
If your SSN has been compromised and you know or suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, the IRS recommends taking these initial steps:
- Respond immediately to any IRS notice; call the number provided or, if instructed, go to IDVerify.IRS.gov.
- Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, if your e-filed return was rejected because of a duplicate filing under your SSN. Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by filing a paper copy.
- File a request with the IRS for an Identity Protection PIN. A new PIN will be mailed to you every year and must be included on your tax return as an added layer of protection.
Although there is no guaranteed method of preventing identity theft, vigilance and consistent monitoring of your financial accounts is imperative. Please contact our office at any time if you suspect tax-related identity theft.
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