“Identity Theft is not a joke, Jim!”

Dwight Schrute from The Office certainly had the right idea. Far from being a joke, identity theft is on the minds of many individuals this time of year. Tax-related identity theft is one of the most common forms of identity theft. Thieves use your Social Security number to file a return with your name and information in order to collect your hard earned refund. Without a doubt, swift action is required to rectify such a serious issue.

The warning signs

The following situations may indicate that your Social Security number has been compromised:

  • Your return is rejected and IRS reject codes indicate your Social Security number has already been used on a previously filed tax return for the same period.
  • You notice activity on or receive IRS notices regarding a tax return although all tax issues have already been resolved or refund or account balances have been paid
  • An IRS notice indicates you received wages from an employer unbeknownst to you.

What to do

  • Report the identity theft to the FTC at www.identitytheft.gov.
  • Contact one of the major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your records. The contact information for the bureaus are as follows –
  1. www.Equifax.com 1-888-766-0008;
  2. www.Experian.com 1-888-397-3742;
  3. www.TransUnion.com 1-800-680-7289.
  • Close any financial or credit accounts opened fraudulently.
  • Submit IRS Form 14039, an Identity Theft Affidavit. This will flag your account should any questionable activity occur and alert the IRS.
  • Submit Form 4506-F if you’d like to request a copy of the fraudulent tax return. This could help you understand how your personal information was used.

Although identity theft can happen to anyone, there are ways to prevent the likelihood of it occurring. To find out more on identity theft prevention, click here. If you need further assistance on reporting identity theft, Alfano & Company would love to help, so contact us!