Hi, I’m Nico, and I work for the IRS.
Each year, the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry work hard to plan for the tax filing season.
And so do identity thieves.
Using a wealth of personal data stolen from outside the tax systems, identity thieves file fake tax returns using real taxpayer names, Social Security numbers and other personal information.
The IRS is working hard to stop tax-related identity theft.
And although we do stop the vast majority of fraudulent returns, it can still happen to you.
Here are some warning signs that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft.
You receive a letter in the mail from the IRS about a suspicious tax return using your name and Social Security number.
We may ask you to go to idverify.irs.gov to confirm your identity.
Or we reject your e-filed return because another tax return was filed using your Social Security number.
If you suspect you’re a victim, file Form 14039, the Identity Theft Affidavit.
You can get the form and instructions at IRS.gov.
If your Social Security number was stolen in a data breach or another way, you should file a Form 14039 only if there is an impact on your taxes.
You should also follow recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), such as placing a free fraud alert on your credit account by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus, filing a complaint with the FTC at IdentityTheft.gov and closing any financial accounts tampered with by thieves.
If you are a victim, please know that these are complex cases and some of them take several months to resolve.
We are working hard to shorten that time.
For more information on what the IRS, the states and the tax industry are doing to fight identity theft, and what steps you need to take if you are a victim, visit irs.gov/identitytheft.