Dealing With Taxes After Having Your Identity Stolen
Unfortunately, victims of identity theft often discover the perpetrator used information about them to fraudulently file their taxes in an effort to collect a refund. In the case that this has happened to you or a loved one, please take the following steps in order for your real return to be accepted and processes properly.
Upon realizing your identity has been stolen, the first thing that you should do is to close any accounts that may have been compromised. This includes credit card accounts, debit accounts, even checking and savings if bank information was accessed. If these accounts are to remain they should be reopened with new account numbers.
Furthermore, you should place a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting the three major rating bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This should prompt a phone call to ask your permission any time somebody attempts to open an account using your name and social security number.
File a police report with your sheriff’s office. This is often overlooked but it is important for establishing a paper trail if you ever have to dispute an unauthorized charge, account or legitimate tax filing.
Finally, in order to ensure your taxes are received and accepted properly you will need to complete a Form 14039 and submit it to the IRS. This is not something our website currently assists with but the form can be obtained here.
This form essentially states that somebody else has filed your taxes under your name and using your social security number. It also indicates the years affected. When you send this form, you will need to include a photocopy of your social security card and driver's license. It is also good practice to send this with a return receipt requested from the US post office.
When received you will be contacted with further instructions as to how to proceed with your current filing. Most likely, once the theft is noted within their system you will be allowed to file your taxes as you would normally, in which case you can use software such as ours. However, it may be necessary to mail in a printed paper return in case the e-file is rejected do to this. Hearing back from the IRS can take a few days or even weeks as they research the situation, so be patient during this time.
Dealing with identity and tax fraud is something we hope you never have to experience, but in the case that this does happen to you these are some steps you can take to help get your return filed properly.
For more information on verifying your identity see the following article, here.