The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has designated January 29 to February 2, 2018 as Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week . Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your Social Security number to file a return with your name in order to collect your refund without your knowledge. The theft most likely becomes apparent when you attempt to file your return.
According to a recent Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research about $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million Americans in 2016. In the past six years identity thieves have stolen over $107 billion.
Alfano & Company understands how scary and important your concerns are with tax-related identity theft. Following these simple tips can help you protect your information and offer help if you fall victim to fraud.
What can you to do prevent identity theft?
- Avoid phishing emails (do not offer important numbers such as your social security information)
- Mark out important information such as Social Security numbers and bank account information in your emails
- Don’t ignore any notices you may receive in the postal mail.
- File your tax return early!
What to do if you’re already a fraud victim?
- Submit IRS Form 14039, an Identity Theft Affidavit. This will flag your account should any questionable activity occur and alert the IRS.
- Follow IRS procedures for reporting a fraudulent return.
- Place a credit freeze on your report.
- Submit Form 4506-F to request a copy of the fraudulent tax return. This could help you understand how your personal information was used.
Since identity theft issues are increasingly prevalent, it is imperative that you safeguard your financial and tax information!
If you would like assistance with tax-related identity theft issues or tax fraud concerns, our team at Alfano & Company is ready to assist you! Contact our office here.