Identity Theft and Taxes: What to Do If Your Refund is Stolen
Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common…identity theft for the purpose of stealing a tax refund. It is sad, but true. The IRS takes this very seriously and cautions taxpayers to do so as well.
If you receive a letter from the IRS that does not exactly make sense based on what you know about your returns from a previous year, do not discard it. This communication may be your biggest clue that something is amiss. For example, if someone is using your identity, you might receive a letter from the IRS claiming that you filed more than one return in a given year, or that you owe or are due a refund for a year that you actually did not even file.
What should you do if you think that someone might be using your social security number or other personal identification in order to make off with your refund? Working directly with the IRS is your best strategy for getting this situation resolved as quickly and smoothly as possible.
1. File a Form 14039:
Form 14039 is the form that the IRS requests you submit if you suspect that your identity has been stolen and someone else is trying to cash in on your refund. This form alerts the IRS that you suspect that someone is using your identifying information to file an additional return. Along with this form, you will provide specific information to the IRS about the last return that you filed. You mail this form (along with copies of your social security card and your driver’s license) directly to the IRS. Also include any documentation from the IRS that may have alerted you to this breach.
2. Pick up the phone
The IRS has created an office that handles these types of issues, called the Identity Protection Specialized Unit. Taxpayers can reach this office by phone at 1-800-908-4490.
3. Watch your credit reports
If someone else is trying to use your personal information to steal your tax refund, they may also try to get a credit card in your name and make fraudulent purchases that can really do damage to your finances and your credit score. You can freeze your credit report file so that no one can open credit cards without your permission. This additional step will protect you from further damage.
4. Get help
Life can get real stressful real quick when you become the victim of identity theft. If you think that someone else is using your personal information to take your tax refund and take advantage of you, a tax firm can also be helpful. A reputable tax firm can serve as the intermediary between you and the IRS and can also be your advocate.
Success Tax Relief to the rescue!
Success Tax Relief has extensive experience helping protect taxpayers from identity theft. Our professionals are standing by right now ready to gather your information and work on your behalf, so that you can stop worrying. Contact us today!