Have you ever tried to file your taxes only to find out that a return has already been filed under your Social Security Number (SSN)…or even worse, under your child’s SSN?
Someone stole your Social Security Number and used it to file a tax return to claim your refund!
We know this may sound bizarre, but this is becoming a very common form of tax identity theft.
Last year, the IRS sent out over 5 million automated audit inquiries. In 2014, 1 out of every 14 Americans had their identity stolen. These are frightening experiences that can happen to any tax payer.
There are ways to help prevent it and to protect you from thieves looking to steal your information.
GUARD Your Information
- Thoroughly research reputable tax preparers before you trust someone with your sensitive documents
- File your tax return as early in the tax season as you can
- Use a secure internet connection (look for “https” instead of simply “http”)
- If you mail your return, send it directly from the post office
- SHRED any tax-related documents if they need to be discarded
Be Aware of Signs of Identity Theft
Knowing the warning signs of identity theft can help prevent any further damage from occurring.
You might be a victim of tax identity theft if you received a notice from the IRS informing you that:
- More than one tax return was filed for you
- IRS records indicate you received more wages than you actually earned
- You owe additional tax or have had collective actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return
- Your state or federal benefits were reduced or cancelled because the agency received information reporting a change in income
How to Deal with Tax Identity Theft
If you think someone has used your Social Security Number for a tax refund, you should contact the IRS immediately. The IRS have specialists available to help you get your tax refund filed properly.
- You will need to first contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit or call 1-800-908-4490
- You will then need to update your files
- Record the dates and times you made calls or sent letters
- Keep copies of letters on file for personal reference
- Put a fraud alert on your credit reports
Always remember not to open emails or text messages that claim to be from the IRS. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers electronically to request personal or financial information.
Disclosure Statement: All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Anytime Tax Services makes no absolute representation to the correctness, mistakes, omissions, delays, appropriateness, or legitimacy of any information on this site.
**Note: Each client circumstance will vary on a case by case basis**