Guide to Identity Theft
2016, the IRS, the states and the tax
industry joined together to enact new
safeguards and take additional actions
to combat tax-related identity theft.
Many of these safeguards will be invisible
to you, but invaluable to our fight against
these criminal syndicates. If you prepare
your own return with tax software, you
will see new log-on standards. Some states
also have taken additional steps. See
your state revenue agencys web site
for additional details.
also know identity theft is a frustrating
process for victims. If you become a victim,
we are committed to resolving your case
as quickly as possible.
is tax-related identity theft?
identity theft occurs when someone uses
your stolen Social Security number to
file a tax return claiming a fraudulent
may be unaware that this has happened
until you efile your return and discover
that a return already has been filed using
your SSN. Or, the IRS may send you a letter
saying we have identified a suspicious
return using your SSN.
the warning signs
alert to possible tax-related identity
theft if you are contacted by the IRS
or your tax professional/provider about:
More than one tax return was filed
using your SSN.
You owe additional tax, refund offset
or have had collection actions taken against
you for a year you did not file a tax
IRS records indicate you received wages
or other income from an employer for whom
you did not work.
to take if you become a victim
you are a victim of identity theft, the
Federal Trade Commission recommends these
File a complaint with the FTC at
Contact one of the three major credit
bureaus to place a fraud alert
on your credit records:
TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com, 1-800-680-7289
your financial institutions, and close
any financial or credit accounts opened
without your permission or tampered with
by identity thieves.
your SSN is compromised and you know or
suspect you are a victim of tax-related
identity theft, the IRS recommends these
Respond immediately to any IRS
notice; call the number provided or, if
instructed, go to IDVerify.irs.gov.
Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft
Affidavit, if your efiled return rejects
because of a duplicate filing under your
SSN or you are instructed to do so. Use
a fillable form at IRS.gov, print, then
attach the form to your return and mail
according to instructions.
Continue to pay your taxes and file your
tax return, even if you must do so by
you previously contacted the IRS and did
not have a resolution, contact us for
specialized assistance at 1-800-908-4490.
We have teams available to assist.
data breaches and your taxes
all data breaches or computer hacks result
in tax-related identity theft. Its
important to know what type of personal
information was stolen.
youve been a victim of a data breach,
keep in touch with the company to learn
what it is doing to protect you and follow
the Steps for victims of identity
theft. Data breach victims should
submit a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit,
only if your Social Security number has
been compromised and your efile return
was rejected as a duplicate or IRS has
informed you that you may be a victim
of tax-related identity theft.
to reduce your risk
efforts by the IRS, states and tax industry
to protect your data. Taxes. Security.
Together. We all have a role to play.
Here's how you can help:
Always use security software with
firewall and anti-virus protections. Use
Learn to recognize and avoid phishing
emails, threatening calls and texts from
thieves posing as legitimate organizations
such as your bank, credit card companies
and even the IRS.
Do not click on links or download
attachments from unknown or suspicious
Protect your personal data. Dont
routinely carry your Social Security card,
and make sure your tax records are secure.
Publication 4524, Security
Awareness for Taxpayers, to learn more.
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 social media channels.
suspicious online or emailed phishing
scams to:firstname.lastname@example.org. For
phishing scams by phone, fax or mail,
call 1-800-366-4484. Report IRS
impersonation scams to the Treasury Inspector
General for Tax Administrations
IRS Impersonation Scams Reporting.