Most people have heard of identity theft with fraudulent purchases made using a credit card or loan. Tax-related identity theft, however, occurs when an identity thief uses your social security number to file a false tax return. The IRS Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft outlines important warning signs and steps to take to protect yourself.
What are some of the warning signs?
· More than one tax return was filed under your social security number.
· During a year that you did not file a tax return, there is suspicious activity – owing additional taxes or collection action taken against you.
· IRS records show that you earned wages from an employer you do not know.
What can you do?
· Do not give your social security number to a business unless absolutely necessary.
· Review a copy of your credit report every year.
· Use firewalls and security features on your computer(s).
· Make sure you know who is asking for your personal information.
Steps (from the IRS website) to take if you become a victim:
· File a Police Report.
· File an FTC complaint at www.identitytheft.gov.
· Contact one of the three credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your account.
· www.Equifax.com or 1-800-525-6285
· www.Experian.com or 1-888-397-3742
· www.TransUnion.com or 1-800-680-7289
· Close any financial accounts opened without your permission.
· Respond immediately to any IRS notice, according to instructions.
· Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
· Continue to file your tax return, even if by paper.
For further reading, visit www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft.
For more information, please call the office of Ronald Castor LC at 913.469.9113.