Tax ID Theft

Tax ID theft: Here’s what to look for and what to do when it happens

Tax-related identity theft occurs when a thief uses someone’s stolen Social Security number to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. The victim may be unaware that this has happened until they e-file their return. Even before the victim files their return, the IRS may send the taxpayer a letter saying the agency identified a suspicious return using the stolen SSN.

Here are some things you should know about identity theft, including warning signs and steps to take after identity theft occurs.

Warning signs that a theft occurs
Taxpayers should be alert to possible tax-related identity theft if they are contacted by the IRS or their tax preparer about:

  • More than one tax return being filed using the taxpayer’s SSN.

  • Additional tax owed.

  • A refund offset.

  • Collection actions taken against the taxpayer for a year when they did not file a tax return.

  • IRS records indicating they received wages or other income from an employer for whom the taxpayer did not work.

If you suspect you are a victim of ID theft, you should continue to pay their taxes and file their tax return, even if you must do so on paper.

Remember, the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and through social media channels.

Please contact us if you suspect there has been ID theft and we can help you take necessary steps to protect yourself.

Rebekah Roy