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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tax Identity Theft


  

Tax identity theft occurs when someone uses your Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.

 

You may be unaware that this happened until you e-file your return and discover that a return already has been filed using your Social Security Number. Or, the IRS may send you a letter saying they have identified a suspicious return using your Social Security number.

 

Know The Warning Signs

  • The IRS sends you a letter indicating possible identity theft.
  • More than one tax return was filed using your Social Security number.
  • You owe additional tax, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
  • IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer for whom you did not work.
  • Your e-filed tax return is rejected by the IRS indicating a return has been filed using your Social Security number.
     
    Steps to take if you become a victim
     
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov
  • Contact one of the three major credit reporting bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records:
    Equifax 800-766-0008
    Experian 888-397-3742
    TransUnion 800-680-7289
  • Contact the IRS Taxpayer Identity Theft Division 800-908-4490
  • Contact your financial institutions, credit card companies, and any other entities you do business with.
  • Respond immediately to any IRS notice.
  • Complete IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit.
  • Continue to file your tax returns and pay your taxes even if you must do so by paper.
  • File a police report with your local police department.
  • Report suspicious online or emailed phishing scams to: phishing@irs.gov
  • Report phone, fax or mail phishing scams by calling 800-366-4484.
  • Request a copy of fraudulent returns using IRS Form 4506-F.
     
     
    How to reduce your risk
     
  • Do not open, click on, or download attachments from suspicious emails.
  • Protect you personal data.
  • Make sure your tax records are secure.
  • Do not give out any personal information over the telephone (do not get into conservations, simply hang up immediately).
  • Request a FREE IRS Publication 4524 Security Awareness for Taxpayers by calling the IRS at 800-829-3676
  • If you are unsure about an IRS letter's authenticity and whether it came from the IRS, go to IDVerify.IRS.gov and follow the prompts to verify your identity.
  • Check with your state to see if there are additional steps to take at the state level.
     
    REMEMBER: THE IRS DOES NOT INITIATE CONTACT WITH PAXPAYERS BY EMAIL, ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION, TEXT MESSAGES, OR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS.
     
    This article was written by Donald M. Scherzi, CPA, CFP, LLC
    Mike Lupo, SCORE Counselor
     
     
     
     

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