A (Potentially) Taxing Situation

Tax season is here. It’s time to get your files and forms in order. You may be well-versed in W-2s and 1099’s, but do you know that an identity thief can mess up your tax files or even get to your tax refund before you can file for it?

Tax-related ID theft can happen in a few ways; all of them involve your Social Security Number (SSN). If someone uses your SSN to get a job, the employer reports that person’s income to the IRS using your SSN. When you file your tax return, you don’t include those earnings. The IRS doesn’t know those wages were reported by an employer you don’t know, so the agency would send you a notice or letter saying you didn’t report that income. 

Sometimes an identity thief uses your SSN to file for — and get — your tax refund before you file. Then, when you file your return, IRS records show the first filing and the refund. You’ll get a notice or letter from the IRS saying more than one return was filed for you.

If this happens to you — or if the IRS sends you any notice or letter indicating a problem — contact them immediately. Visit the IRS  online or call 1-800-908-4490. Specialists will help you get your tax return filed, get you any refund you may be due, and protect your IRS account from identity thieves in the future. 

One additional point: the IRS never starts contact with a taxpayer using email, text, or social media that asks for personal or financial information. If you get an email that claims to be from the IRS, do yourself a favor: don’t reply or click on any links.  Instead, forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

On February 20 and 21, 2013, the FTC, federal and state enforcement agencies, and consumer advocacy groups will hold a series of Town Halls in South Florida to discuss how to combat tax-related ID theft.

If you suspect identity theft, learn more about how to repair the damage.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Comments

myself and 2 other coworkers got the same call from 800-258-3658, it was an automated system indicating I over paid my taxes last year by $4,000 and gave me options to have the full amount transferred to "account on file", or have it half or fully donated to "help the animals charitable organization". without choosing or selecting anything (because this was all on my voicemail) it automatically selects to transfer the entire balance to the charity and all representatives were currently busy. All three of us received the exact same call/message. Sounds fraudulent.

another scam going around Asset Acceptance and their pond scum tactics. Just got a 1099 reporting a forgivness for a unvalidated alleged debt reported to the IRS and it is not a valid debt!!!!! watch out for them

They are also stealing Social Security Numbers and reporting liens in your name and under your social security number so when you go to file your tax return they steal it and you get a notice from the Dept of Treasury Financial Management Services in Alabama stating the monies have been applied to a past debt. They are stealing your tax return money with this scam. They have been using this scam since 2005 on US taxpayers.

should people e-file?

The IRS website states that e-file is the "safest, fastest, and easiest" way to file your taxes. If you e-file, experts recommend that you don't use a public computer or a free public wi-fi network.

IRS SAYS IN 2010 AND 201, AFTER I FILED A PDisAPER RETURN, SOMEONE TRIED TO FILE ELECTRONICLY USING MY PERSONAL INFO. OBVIOUSLY SOMEONE HAS MY SS#. WHAT DO I DO NOW?

The IRS has a unit to help vitims of tax-related identity theft:

IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit
1-800-908-4490

After you've contacted them, you'll want to take these steps to repair any other damage caused by the theft.

wonder why spouse had refund sent to my savings?/never before had any refund.

It seemed as if someone filed my taxes for 2012.It was not me I did not file as of yet and I never authorized no one to file for me in the past nor present

You may want to contact the IRS's special unit for idenity theft:

IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit
1-800-908-4490

I have a suggestion regarding this; I was the victim of (non-tax-related) identity theft in 2011. Is there an e-mail address or a person I could submit it to? (confidentially)yzer

Victims of identity theft should take these steps right away to limit the damage.

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