All You Need To Know About Tax Identity Theft
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.
- 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 IdentityTheft.gov 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.