Tags: IRS | IRS | taxpayers | refund | identity thieves

What Can Taxpayers Do If Their IRS Refund Is Stolen by Identity Thieves?

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 11:57 AM

Too often, taxpayers become the victims of identity theft, and lose their IRS refund to someone with access to their social security number. This leaves the victim feeling violated, frustrated and angry.

The thief will illegally use that social security number  to file a bogus tax return and collect the refund. The dishonesty is uncovered later when the taxpayer files a legitimate return, which is flagged as a duplicate claim.

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The IRS will then alert the victim via an official letter. It's important to note that the IRS doesn't initiate correspondences through any email or text that would request personal or financial information. Any email that claims to be from the IRS should instead be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.

When victims have been identified, IRS agents will then ensure that a proper return gets filed, a refund is paid and their account is shielded from future identity attacks.

According to the Identity Theft Network, a victim should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit and file a copy of a police report — or an IRS ID Theft Affidavit Form 14039 with proof of identity — with the agency.

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The taxpayer should quickly update all important files, and keep records of when calls were made or letters sent.

Next, it's important to limit the potential damage by placing a fraud alert on your credit reports, as well as ordering copies of those reports. Also, create an "Identity Theft Report" by filing a theft complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, according to the IRS website.

Should further complications occur, perhaps a local Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic can help. These are designed to assist people whose income is below a certain level. Such clinics are separate from the IRS and can possibly offer representation for an audits or tax collection dispute.

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Too often, taxpayers become the victims of identity theft, and lose their IRS refund to someone with access to their social security number. This leaves the victim feeling violated, frustrated and angry.
IRS, taxpayers, refund, identity thieves
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2015-57-22
Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 11:57 AM
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