How do you know that you have been a victim of tax-related identity theft and your taxes have been compromised? The theft could include your stolen personal information and your Social Security number.
The problem is you may not know that someone has actually stolen your identity for tax purposes until the IRS has notified you of an issue with your tax returns.
Here are some signs that you may have been a victim of tax-related identity theft:
🔴 Obtaining a letter from the IRS inquiring about a suspicious tax return that was not filed by you.
🔴 Being unable to e-file your tax return due to a duplicate Social Security number.
🔴 Getting a tax transcript in the mail that was not requested by you.
🔴 Receiving an IRS notice that an online account has been created in your name without your knowledge.
🔴 IRS notifies you that an existing online account has been accessed or disabled without your knowledge or authorization.
🔴 IRS sends you a letter that you owe additional tax or refund offset or have collection actions taken against you for a tax year in which no return was filed.
🔴 Having your IRS records indicate that wages or other income were received from an employer that you did not work for.
🔴 Being assigned an Employer Identification Number (EIN) without requesting one.
Contrary to popular belief, the IRS will help you in this situation. If you suspect that your Social Security number has been compromised and that you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, it is recommended that you respond immediately to any notices received from the IRS. Don’t worry; notices from the IRS will always include a designated number that you can and should call immediately.
Did you electronically file a tax return that was rejected due to a duplicate filing using your Social Security number? Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. The form can be found on the IRS website and should be filled out, printed, and then attached to your tax return before being mailed according to the instructions provided.
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, it is recommended that you visit IdentityTheft.gov for steps that you should take to protect yourself and your financial accounts.
Do you think someone else has filed a fraudulent return using your name? Here’s how you can get a copy of the return.
If you electronically file your tax return and it tells you that your dependent/s on your return was claimed by someone else on their return, or the dependent themselves have claimed the return, Here’s some help from the IRS on What to Do When Someone Fraudulently Claims Your Dependent.
Getting your identity stolen can be a very tiring and chaotic experience to recover from. If you’re too distraught to handle the issues of tax-related identity theft on your own, then it’s best to get help and drop us a line at Peter Witts CPA. We’ll assist you in getting everything straightened out and even give you some advice on how you can prevent another theft in the future. Remember, forewarned is forearmed.