Have You Been A Victim of Identity Theft? Protect Yourself and Your Tax Refund From Fraud
Unfortunately, every year, a growing number of Americans experience identity theft first hand. Most instances involve the misuse of an existing credit card or bank account, but return fraud is one of the biggest problems facing the Federal tax system. In a typical case, thieves use stolen personal information to file a tax return in your name to get a refund. Then, when you, the real taxpayer files, the IRS rejects your return as a duplicate. You can take steps to protect yourself from tax fraud by requesting the IRS place an identity theft indicator on your account and issue you an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN).
Evidence You May Be the Victim of Tax Fraud
How will you know whether you need to request an IP PIN from the IRS? Be on the lookout for unusual activity relating to your tax documents, such as:
- You receive a W-2 from an employer which you have never worked for
- Your state or federal benefits have been unexpectedly canceled or reduced
- More than one tax return has been filed in your name
- Your account with the IRS is showing a return filed, or a refund owed in a year that you weren’t required to file
What is an IP PIN?
An IP PIN is a six-digit number that is assigned by the IRS to victims of identity theft. When you file your return, you must include the IP PIN as an additional personal identifier. Any return that is filed without the IP PIN will be rejected.
How Do I Request an IP PIN?
If you wish to receive an IP PIN from the IRS, you can file Form 14039. It is an affidavit of Identity Theft. You can file Form 14039 if you have in fact been a victim of identity theft, or if you think you may be vulnerable to identity theft (for example, you lost your wallet, but have not spotted any suspicious activity on your credit cards or other accounts). You will be required to submit copies of personal documents identifying you as you to support your affidavit. You may use a driver’s license, passport, social security card, or other valid U.S. or state identification card.
If you have been a victim of identity theft and have questions as to how to protect your tax return from fraud, Nielsen Law Group and its experienced professionals are ready to assist you. Call (480) 888-7111 or submit a web request here.