Monday, July 13, 2015

Tax Related Identity Theft



This past year, Identity Theft has become such a buzz word, that it needs to be revisited on my blog. Between scamming crooks on the phone from off-shore based call centers, hackers believed to be from Russia raiding the IRS website and some more hackers from China getting into the national data-base & managing to steal classified information of hundreds & thousands of federal employees, protecting one's identity has become a top priority for all. 

I wrote about Protecting Your Identity here earlier.  

According to today's news, the scammer who took millions with fake IRS calls from gullible taxpayers was sentenced to 14 years in prison. To many getting a phone call from someone claiming to be IRS can set off a panic attack! It is imperative to know that the IRS does NOT initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information EVER. And this includes any type of electronic communication, be it, text messages or messages over social media. 




What Is Tax Related Identity Theft?: 
If a tax return is filed without your knowledge using your social Security Number to claim a refund, that is "Tax Related Identity Theft". You are not likely to find out that a fraudulent return has been filed till you (try to) file your own tax return and learn that you can't do so. 

Alarm bells should go off if: 
 1. You get a notice form the IRS that 2 returns have been filed with the same SSN. 
 2. You haven't filed a tax return but you get a notice from the IRS that you owe taxes, are getting a refund offset or there is a collection notice being taken against you. 
 3.  You get a notice from the IRS that an employer you don't know paid you wages. 

If you suspect that your Social Security Number has been compromised and you know or suspect that you are a victim of Identity theft, contact a tax professional such as an Enrolled Agent immediately. An Enrolled Agent will be able to: 

1. Help our respond to any IRS notice effectively. 

2. Help complete Form 14039, which is an Identity theft Affidavit. 
3. file your tax return and stay in touch with the IRS. 
If you have previously contacted the IRS and did not have a resolution, contact the Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. 

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As always, read my disclaimer here. Please consult a qualified tax professional for your unique tax needs. More of my contact information is on my website, www.mntaxsolutionsllc.com.