Tax-Related Identity Theft – What Is It and What to Do About It

What Is Tax-Related Identity Theft?

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your Social Security number to file early in the tax season in the hopes of receiving a fraudulent refund.

Often times, you will be unaware this has occurred until you file your tax return. The IRS will alert you of identity theft by sending you a letter or notifying your accountant.

The IRS can be tipped off to identity theft if:

  • More than one tax return was filed under your Social Security number
  • You owe money for a year you did not need to file a tax return
  • IRS records indicate you received more wages than you actually earned

What to Do About Tax-Related Identity Theft

If you receive a letter from the IRS regarding potential identity theft, immediately call the number on the IRS letter. As a reminder, the IRS will never contact you about your personal or financial information by email, text messages, or through social media.

If think you are a victim of identity theft but have not received a letter from the IRS, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490.

Outside of contacting the IRS, you should:

  1. Notify your financial planner and accountant. Your accountant will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14309.
  2. Contact each of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your record.
  3. Enroll in an identity protection program such as Identity Guard.
  4. File a police report.

For more information about how to keep your personal information safe, click on this helpful IRS Guide.

Christine Damico, CFP®, EA

Christine Damico, CFP®, EA

Christine employs her passion for financial planning, curiosity to learn and grow and compassion for others in her role as Client Advisor at Glassman Wealth. She loves to hear about and understand the stories behind how people approach money, and why they make the financial decisions that they do. This insight is a powerful asset to the families she serves.
Christine Damico, CFP®, EA
Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

1 Comment

  1. […] that the person on the phone is more likely an identity thief than an IRS agent, you’re right.  Tax scams are on the rise, with phishing up 400 percent in the […]