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All You Need To Know About Tax Identity Theft

Arizona Federal Staff

Tax identity theft is when someone uses a stolen Social Security number (SSN) to file a tax return and collects the refund. Often people may not know they’re a victim of identity theft until they’re notified by the IRS of a possible issue with their tax return, or they can’t e-file their tax return because of a duplicate SSN.

Signs of tax identity theft

Signs of possible tax identity theft include:

  • IRS sends a letter about a suspicious tax return that you did not file.
  • IRS notifies you that your online account has been accessed or disabled when you took no action.
  • IRS records indicate you received income from an employer you didn’t work for.

Things the IRS will never do

  • Initiate contact with you by email.
  • Request your personal or financial information via text or social media.
  • Call taxpayers to wire money, pay with a prepaid debit card or share credit card information over the phone.
  • Call, email or text to request taxpayers’ Identity Protection PINs.

Protecting yourself

  • Never share your SSN over the internet or with unverified callers.
  • File your tax returns as early as you can.
  • If filing taxes electronically, use a secure internet connection.
  • If filing taxes by mail, send your return directly from the post office.
  • Before using a tax preparer, thoroughly research their credentials.

Arizona Federal members have access to FREE identity theft protection services that offers credit monitoring, fraud reimbursement and comprehensive identity theft resources.

If You’re A Victim

Visit to report tax identity theft to the IRS and the FTC. The agencies will also give you a personal recovery plan.

Your Turn: How have you dealt with tax or identity theft? Tell us about it in the comments.