IRS Identity Theft Hotline

Are You the Victim of Tax Identity Theft?

If you are the victim of IRS identity theft, it may be several months before you actually receive your refund because the IRS needs to investigate and validate your claim. That makes it very important to report tax identity theft immediately if you think you are a victim

Tax identity theft is a growing problem that is affecting hard-working taxpayers. It is convenient for cybercriminals and criminal organizations who acquire stolen information or databases through illicit channels like the DarkWeb. The fraudsters can be anywhere in the world and often avoid prosecution in the United States due to the complex nature of extradition. Plus, it is a crime that can easily be repeated so long as the fraudsters have access to the taxpayer’s personal information and Social Security number.

How can I tell if I’m a victim of tax identity fraud

Typically, you won’t know until your tax professional or the IRS contacts you to verify one of the following details:

  • The IRS has records of you receiving income or wages for an employer you’ve not worked for.
  • Refund offset, collection actions, or additional taxes are owed for a year that you did not file taxes.
  • Multiple tax returns have been filed using your Social Security Number.

What should I do if I think I am a victim of tax identity fraud?

The Federal Trade Commission recommends the following steps:

  1. File a complaint about the fraud with the FTC at identitytheft.goV
  2. Place a “fraud alert” on your credit records by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus.
  3. Contact all relevant financial institutions to close any credit or financial accounts the thieves may have opened with your identity.
  4. Contact all relevant financial institutions to close any credit or financial accounts the thieves may have opened with your identity.

Credit Bureau Phone Numbers

TransUnion ( 1-800-680-7289

Experian ( 1-888-397-3742

Equifax ( 1-800-766-0008

The IRS recommends the following steps:

  1. Always respond immediately to notices from the IRS. They will include a phone number or they may direct you to
  2. You must complete IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit if your efiling is rejected due to duplicate filings or if the IRS otherwise instructs you to do so. A fillable form is available on the website that you can print out, attach to your return, and mail in.
  3. Be certain to continue to file taxes by paper if you cannot electronically.Technology in the world is moving at a fast place and criminal elements are continuously looking for the next easy payday. Be certain to protect your identity information and respond quickly to any potential theft that may occur, so you have the best chance of an efficient, successful resolution.Do you have any tips for protecting your identity or financial security? Share them with us in the comments!