If someone else files a tax return using your personal information, you’re a victim of tax identity theft. You may be unable to file a return or obtain your tax refund, and you’ll have to take steps to resolve the issue with the IRS.
Signs of Tax Identity Theft
You may first notice a case of tax identity theft when you go to file your tax return. Your return will be rejected if another return using your Social Security number has already been accepted.
The IRS can also catch some suspicious returns. You may receive a Letter 4883C that notifies you of a suspicious return and asks you to confirm your identity. You’ll need to follow the steps outlined in the letter in order to verify your identity and tell the IRS if the return was legitimate or not.
File the Identity Theft Affidavit
You can notify the IRS of a case of identity theft by filing Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. If your return won’t be accepted by e-file, you may need to submit this form by mail along with a paper tax return.
Once the IRS receives this form, a special Identity Theft Assistance unit will look into your case. These cases can often take a year or more to resolve.
Other Identity Theft Issues
Tax identity theft can also cause other issues. Someone may use your Social Security number to obtain employment if they don’t have their own. This can lead to income being erroneously added to your tax account, increasing your tax liability.
The IRS may also make adjustments to fraudulently filed returns. In these instances, your case could be in collections before you realize that your personal information has been stolen. You may receive IRS collection notices for a tax year when you didn’t file a return because someone else filed using your personal information.
If you don’t let the IRS know about the issue, you could face bank account levies, wage garnishments, and other IRS tax problems. If you’re having trouble resolving your tax identity theft issues, you may want to seek assistance from a tax attorney.
Get help with tax identity theft by calling The Gartzman Law Firm at (770) 939-7710. We can listen to your concerns and help you find the best tax resolution strategy for your case.