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.