What to Do if You Are a Victim of Tax Filing Identity Theft
Taxpayers everywhere have been reporting a surge in identity-theft related issues, including the filing of their 2019 returns by someone else.
According to the IRS, the signs of identity theft are:
- You receive a letter from the IRS inquiring about a suspicious tax return you did not file.
- Your tax return cannot be electronically filed because of a duplicate SSN.
- You get a tax transcript in the mail that was not requested.
- You get an IRS notice that an online account has been created in your name.
- You get an IRS notice that your online account has been accessed when you took no action.
- You get an IRS notice that you owe additional tax when you did not file a return.
- You get an IRS notice that you had collection actions taken against when you did not file a tax return.
- IRS records indicate you received income from an employer you did not work for.
If you discover you have been the victim of identity theft, the IRS recommends you take the following actions in order to get your return processed:
- Respond immediately to any IRS notice by calling the number provided on the notice. (*Note that most IRS phone lines are currently down, so the number may not work.)
- Complete Form 14039, Identify Theft Affidavit, and attach to the Form 1040 for mailing.
- Request a copy of the fraudulently filed return by mailing Form 4506-F, Request for a Copy of a Fraudulent Tax Return.
Below are additional links provided by the IRS with helpful information regarding identify theft:
- IRS Identity Theft Dependents
- IRS Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers
- IRS ID Theft Victim Assistance Works
- IRS Employment-related Identity Theft
- FTC Identity Theft
- SSA FAQ
Most states also have specific protocols and recommendations for identity theft issues related to state tax returns. As these vary from state to state, department of revenue websites should be consulted for further information, or you can contact Cathie Stanton or Dorita Calderon for assistance.
If you have been the victim of identity theft and someone has already filed a return on your behalf, contact your Cherry Bekaert advisor as soon as possible.