Why to tell the IRS if you’ve been a victim of identity theft

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You may already be a victim of tax fraud due to identity theft. Or you may have had your identity stolen–but not been hit by tax fraud.

Either way, let the IRS know.  File form 14039

Has someone else already filed a return using your Social Security number? In Section A, check Box 1

You’ll know you’ve been hit by tax fraud if your e-filed return is rejected as a duplicate. Or if you  receive a mailed notice from the IRS stating that a return already has been filed using your Social Security number. Any “duplicate” return will be rejected by the IRS.

You still must file your 1040 and pay any taxes due. But your return must be submitted by paper, not electronically. Attach Form 14039. You’ll also be required to submit one of the following to verify your identity: a copy of your driver’s license, Social Security card, or passport.

You can’t have your own return accepted, or obtain any tax refund due until you submit the form and the required documentation.

Besides filing Form 14039, be sure to file a report with your local police precinct. And also notify the Federal Trade Commission.

Has your identity been stolen, but you don’t know if a fraudulent tax return has been filed? File form 14039, anyway. In Section A, check Box 2

If someone has already used your Social Security number to obtain credit falsely, file the form. If your wallet has been stolen, your house has been burglarized, or you suspect that your Social Security number may have been compromised during a computer hack, protect yourself. File form 14039, even if you don’t know of any crime that has been committed by using your ID.

If the IRS is aware of your identity theft, and a fake tax return is filed using your Social Security, it should be flagged before it is processed–which could save you a lot of aggravation.

Check out some more solid advice on identity theft from the IRS.

We’re noticing that identity theft has begun to show up in local police blotter features. Are you seeing reports in your newspaper?

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