What do you need to do if your identity has been stolen?

The following contains information from the publication 4535 on the IRS website. To view the complete publication, clink here. The information below relates generally to tax account problems. Much of this information can be found on the IRS website here. The information below will get you started.

What if you are a victim of identity theft?

If you think your identity has been compromised please don’t take it lightly. You need to take immediate steps.

  • Report incidents of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or the FTC Identity Theft hotline
    at 1-877-438-4338 or TTY 1-866-653-4261.
  • Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. You will be asked to provide a copy of a police report or you will need to submit a completed Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, following the instructions on the back of the form. Later IRS will provide an ID number to allow processing of later returns.
  • Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus
  • Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  • Contact Social Security. www.ssa.gov or call 800-772-1213.
  • Contact your Bank/s, Credit Union/s or applicable financial institutions.

How do you know if your tax records have been affected?

Usually an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund and/or they are unable to get a Social Security Number legally to allow them to work.
Generally, the identity thief will use a stolen SSN to file a forged tax return and attempt to get a fraudulent refund early in the filing season.
You may be unaware that this has happened until you file your return later in the filing season and discover that two returns have been filed using the same SSN. Be alert to possible identity theft if you receive an IRS notice or letter that states:

  • More than one tax return for you was filed,
  • You have a balance due, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return, or
  • IRS records indicate you received wages from an employer unknown to you.