Tax identity theft once again topped the IRS list of tax scams for 2015. Here’s what you need to know if it happens to you.
The warning signs. 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 can indicate that your tax identity has been stolen.
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 Law Enforcement Assistance Program, you can complete a special form allowing the IRS to release limited tax return data to the police.
Who else to 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.