Was your tax return rejected by the IRS when you tried to file electronically? Has someone filed a tax return using your stolen Social Security number and other information?
What do you do now? Consumers now have a one-stop spot to report tax-related ID theft at IdentityTheft.gov.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service joined forces in April to make the process for addressing tax-related ID theft smoother.
Previously, you had to complete an affidavit from the IRS website, print it and then fax or mail it to the IRS to begin the process to resolve your ID fraud case.
The IRS cannot begin to resolve your case until you complete a Form 14039.
As part of the process, IdentityTheft.gov will collect the information the IRS needs, help you fill out Form 14039 online and then let you review it.
When you're satisfied, you'd submit the form to the IRS through IdentityTheft.gov and download a copy for yourself.
About 30 days later, the IRS will send you a letter confirming it received the information.
Filing Form 14039 does not eliminate your need to pay your taxes or file your return for 2017. If you could not e-file your tax return, you'll still need to file a paper return and mail it to the IRS and pay any taxes you might owe.
The IdentityTheft.gov website is used for all sorts of identity-theft issues and offers advice for how to place a fraud alert on credit files, how to check your credit report and what other steps to take to stop ID theft from hurting one's credit.
During tax season, ID thieves have all sorts of opportunities to steal your information. In some cases, con artists even promise extra-large tax refunds to dupe people into handing over their ID information to prepare taxes.
When con artists have your ID information, the fraudsters could file a false return in your name and a fraudulent refund ends up being paid to someone else.
Be careful if you spot an e-mail that claims to be from the IRS, too. The IRS isn't sending e-mails out of the blue, but fraudsters are out to steal personal information, including Social Security numbers.
What are the warning signs that you're a victim of ID theft?
- Another tax return was already filed using your Social Security Number.
- You did not file a return in a given year but suddenly you owe tax or face a collection action against you for that year.
- IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer and you never worked for that company.
Contact Susan Tompor: email@example.com or 313-222-8876. Follow Susan on Twitter @Tompor.