Tax ID Theft occurs when someone files a tax return (and claims a refund) in someone else’s name, and it creates multiple headaches and problems for the victim. Although Tax ID Theft is declining from previous years, it was confirmed by the IRS in 597,000 tax returns in 2017. A total of $6 billion dollars in fake refund claims were detected and stopped.
Victims of any kind of ID Theft are strongly encourage to make use of the Federal Trade Commission’s comprehensive IdentityTheft.gov website, which allows victims to report the ID theft and receive a personal recovery plan. Now, a cooperative effort between the FTC and the IRS will allow victims of Tax ID Theft to use that website to report it, saving time and steps as they work to clean up the mess caused by the tax refund scammers.
Previously Tax ID Theft victims had to access, complete and file IRS Form 14039 (IRS Identity Theft Affidavit) by hand. Those victims will now be able to complete that form electronically, exclusively through the IdentityTheft.gov website. The website leads victims through a set of questions, and uses the answers to complete Form 14039. After reviewing the form, victims can file it electronically.
To help avoid Tax ID Theft, file early if possible. For additional help in filing season, check out our Tax Time Tips.
If you spot a scam, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.