Protecting Against Identity Theft

Identity theft is the #1 consumer complaint in the United States.

Identity theft specifically affects your tax account when an individual intentionally uses the SSN of another persn to file a false tax return or to fraudulently obtain employment.

When identity theft victims have their tax accounts compromised, serious consequences arise. Their refunds may be delayed or denied. They may be assessed tax debts resulting from income reflected on the fraudulent filer’s tax return. The victims may also be required to prove their identities to the IRS in future years.

If you’re a victim of identity theft, the IRS may assign you a temporary IRS number, or IRSN, in lieu of your compromised SSN, to use for filing your return while the true owner of that SSN is being determined.

Take these steps if you become a victim of identity theft:

  • Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • File a report with the local police (and get a copy of it).
  • Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit rating agencies.
  • Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  • Report misuse of your SSN to the Social Security Administration.

If your identity has been stolen and somebody is using your SSN for tax purposes, contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service at 1-877-ASK-TAS1. This is your voice at the IRS.

About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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