Posts Tagged ‘refund check’

Tips to Protect Against Tax Identity Theft

Wow, I just read where the FTC said that tax identity theft has tripled over the last few years!

Identity theft occurs when someone “steals” your personal information (social security number, birth date, name, address, etc.), files a phony tax return and gets your refund.  You’ll never know it until YOU file your tax returns and the IRS claims that they already have one on file from you.

If you complain to the IRS, it may fall on deaf ears as they think they already have a send you your refund check.

This is a certain procedure that you’ll need to follow:

  • Complete and submit IRS Form 14039 – Identity Theft Affidavit
  • Provide proof that the Social Security Number is yours
  • Your complaint will be reviewed, which may take several months
  • If approved, you will receive your refund
  • You will receive a special “filing” number that you must use to file future income tax returns
  • You will receive a “filing number” each year after that from the IRS

You must use that special filing number each year on your returns.  If the person who stole your identity tries to file in the future without the special ID number, your file will be red flagged and investigated – and you can expect your tax refund to take several months again.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Memorize your SSN and keep it locked up in a safe place
  • Shred all personal and financial documents
  • Never provide your SSN to anyone online
  • If mailing your tax return, take it to the inside of the post office; never drop it in a public mailbox or your home mailbox.

If you have an accountant, CPA or tax service prepare your return, make sure they are licensed, bonded and have encryption software that they use if they file your tax return electronically.