My friend prepared his own taxes this week using an online site. When he transmitted his return, he received a message back indicating he had already filed. Imagine his surprise to learn that he was receiving a very large refund…considering he is self-employed and knew he would be owing a large amount. Things got even messier when he learned this refund was to be deposited into “his” new checking account, that he did not open. The IRS told him it will take at least 8 months to resolve this mess.
If you receive a notice from the IRS and you suspect your identity has been used fraudulently, respond immediately by calling the phone number on the notice.
If you did not receive an IRS notice but believe you’ve been the victim of identity theft, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 right away so your tax account can be secured and your SSN or ITIN can be matched. Also fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039.
You should also:
- Report incidents of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.ftc.gov or the FTC Identity Theft hotline at 877-438-4338 or TTY 866-653-4261.
- File a report with the local police.
- Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus:
- Equifax – www.equifax.com, 800-525-6285
- Experian – www.experian.com, 888-397-3742
- TransUnion – www.transunion.com, 800-680-7289
- Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
More information is available at IRS.gov:
- Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft — http://www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft