How IRS Criminal Investigation Partners With Law Enforcement
The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (CI) works closely with local and state law enforcement through an innovative program that helps police combat identity theft in their communities. While federal law generally prohibits the IRS from disclosing any taxpayer information, taxpayers may sign a waiver and agree to the disclosure of the fraudulent tax returns to state or local police. This waiver program, the Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) covers all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.
The LEAP Program Process
State and local law enforcement officials who have evidence of identity theft involving fraudulently filed federal tax returns must contact the identity theft victims to request and secure the victims' consent for disclosure of the tax records. If the victim cannot be located, the IRS can assist in locating taxpayers and soliciting their consent. Victims who opt to participate must complete a special IRS disclosure form - Form 8821-A. State and local law enforcement officers can obtain a copy of the Form 8821-A from their local IRS-CI office.
After completion of the form, state and local law enforcement representatives can submit the form to their local IRS-CI office. The IRS will process the disclosure forms received and forward the documentation to the law enforcement officer who requested the documents.
State and local law enforcement interested in partnering with CI should contact their local CI office for more details.
What to do if you are a victim of Tax Related Identity Theft
If you believe you are a victim of Tax Related Identity Theft, you are encouraged to review IRS Publication 4535. Within that publication, you are instructed to make multiple contacts to include: filing a police report, contacting the FTC and contacting the credit bureaus. You are also encouraged to file IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
It’s important that you submit either Form 14039 or a police report (not both) to the IRS victim assistance unit. This enables the IRS to begin working to resolve your tax account. This could include a special indicator being placed on your tax account. If you submit a Form 14039, please follow the filing instructions on the Form 14039 to avoid unnecessary delays. It is important to note that neither local law enforcement nor CI can submit a Form 14039 on your behalf.