Tax Identity Theft
By Jason Line
As if filing your taxes wasn’t stressful enough, imagine submitting your forms and only to have your return rejected because the IRS claims a return was already filed with your Social Security number. If all of your information is correct, you may be a victim of identity theft.
The IRS reported there was a 66% increase in tax-related identity theft investigations from 2012 to 2013. If you believe you are a victim, you should contact the IRS immediately. In most cases, they will advise you to submit an IRS Identity Theft Affidavit Form 14039 and re-file your taxes and submit via standard mail. Be sure to take notes of when you contacted the IRS and the dates you submitted the forms.
Once you have completed all the necessary forms, it would also be a good idea to request your credit report from the three major bureaus. Your Social Security number is a ‘golden ticket’ for criminals and more times than not, they will try to open new accounts with your information. Check your credit report and check it often.
Ways to Help Avoid:
- Don’t carry your Social Security Card with you.
- Don’t give out your SSN to a business, just because they ask for it.
- Protect your personal information
- Check credit report annually.
- Don’t give out your personal information over the phone.
The IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit can be reached at 1-800-908-4490.