What to Do if Your Tax Identity Has Been Stolen

Have you gotten a tax bill you weren’t expecting based on income you never received? Has your return been rejected, or your refund delayed? These unanticipated incidents may indicate your tax identity has been stolen.

Though it may be small consolation, you’re not alone. Tax identity theft topped the IRS list of tax scams for 2013. Here’s what you need to know if it happens to you.

What to do
File Form 14039 with the IRS. The “Identity Theft Affidavit” starts the process of notifying the IRS that you are a victim or potential victim of tax-related fraud. You’ll need to include proof of your identity, such as a photocopy of your driver’s license or passport.

In addition, file a report with your local police department. Under the recently expanded Law Enforcement Assistance Program, you can complete a special form allowing the IRS to release a copy of the fraudulent tax return that was submitted under your social security number. Who else should you notify? Contact the Federal Trade Commission, the Social Security Administration, your bank, and the national credit bureaus.

What to expect
Once you file Form 14039 and validate your identity, you may receive an identity protection personal identification number. That number will allow you to file your tax return and receive your refund. However, be aware that straightening out your tax account can take a year or longer.

We’re here to help you safeguard your financial identity. Contact us more information, as well as assistance with IRS correspondence.