What to do if you suspect tax-related identity theft
The privacy and security of your tax information is as important to us as it is to you. We take these concerns very seriously.
If you believe you have been a victim of tax-related identity theft, please contact us right away.
You will also want to take the following steps:
- (Most important) Follow the IRS procedures for reporting a fraudulent return, documented here: www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft
- Monitor your credit reports through TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian for any suspicious activity.
- File a police report with your local law enforcement agency.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov or the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338 or TTY 1-866-653-4261.
If your Social Security number is compromised and you know or suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, take these additional steps:
- Respond immediately to any IRS notice; call the number provided.
- Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Then print and mail or fax according to the instructions.
- Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.
The IRS has a host of useful information and resources on tax-related identity theft:
- A special section at IRS.gov dedicated to identity theft issues, including YouTube videos, tips for taxpayers, and an assistance guide.
- For victims, the information includes how to contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit. For other taxpayers, there are tips on how taxpayers can protect themselves against identity theft.
- Taxpayers who may be at risk for identity theft (for example, your wallet, purse, or computer was recently stolen) should visit the IRS identity protection page.
- If you receive a suspicious email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS (such as EFTPS), visit the Report Phishing page at IRS.gov.
These sites can help you understand identity theft and how to protect yourself:
- FTC Identity Theft Resource Center (www.ftc.gov/idtheft)
- Identity Theft Resource Center (idtheftcenter.org)
We're all vulnerable to this crime, but there are additional things you can do that will reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
- If you file by mail, do it at a post office, not from an unlocked mailbox in front of your house.
- If you file electronically, use a secure computer on a secure network.