The amount of identity theft cases continues to increase each year and could even affect your tax return and/or refund. Identity thieves will use another individual’s social security number in order to file a false tax return to claim a refund. This tends to happen early in the tax filing season. You may be a victim if the IRS notifies you via notice or letter of the following issues:
- They have received more than one tax return with your social security number.
- You owe money, have fallen into collections, or have had additional taxes assessed offsetting your refund.
- The IRS has received additional wage information from sources you never worked for or with.
- Your state or federal benefits were reduced or cancelled due to a notice of change in income.
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, contact the IRS at 800-908-4490 and fill out Form 14039, IRS Identity Theft Affidavit here. Once this form is submitted the IRS will issue a new identification number to be used in addition to your social security number. You will be required to put the Identity Protection PIN that the IRS issued to you next to your signature on the second page of Form 1040. CAUTION: Your tax preparer needs a copy of this number each year in order to file your taxes moving forward! Tax returns will no longer be accepted using just your social security number once the IRS has issued an Identity Protection PIN.
For more on this topic, contact your tax adviser. Happy Filing!