Tax identity theft is a growing problem that can occur when someone uses your personal information without your consent for their financial advantage. Often the thief will file a fraudulent tax return in your name to claim a refund that is rightfully yours. Clean Slate Tax understands that dealing with this type of fraud can be daunting and frustrating, thereby provides you with some invaluable advice to navigate through this ordeal effectively.
Recognize the Signs of Tax Identity Theft
Recognizing that you’re a victim of tax identity theft is the first step to dealing with it. Signs may include receiving IRS notifications stating that more than one tax return was filed in your name or that IRS records indicate you received wages from employers unknown to you.
Report the Tax Identity Theft
If you believe that you’ve been a victim of this type of fraud, report it immediately. Contact the IRS and fill out an Identity Theft Affidavit (IRS Form 14039); this form will provide the IRS with the necessary information to start an investigative process.
Secure your Social Security Number
Keeping your Social Security Number secure is one of the best ways to prevent tax identity theft. Never carry your social security card with you, and only provide your number if absolutely necessary. Also, ensure to protect your personal data on your home computer using robust security software.
Monitor Your Credit
Monitor your credit regularly to ensure there are no unknown activities. It is advisable to review your credit reports regularly and report any discrepancies to the credit bureau and the provider who furnished the information. This can be helpful in stopping additional false information from being reported.
- Checks and Balances
- Document Everything
- Stay Vigilant
Make sure to balance and scrutinize your financial accounts and billing statements for any discrepancies. Report any unauthorized charges or transactions to your financial institution immediately.
While dealing with tax identity theft, make sure to document all your interactions, including dates, times, names, and conversations.
Remember, preventing tax identity theft is an ongoing battle. Stay vigilant, keep your personal information secure, and take necessary precautions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do if I think I’m a victim of tax identity theft?
If you believe you are a victim of tax identity theft, you should report the issue to the IRS and your local law enforcement. You should also contact your financial institutions and review your credit reports for any suspicious activity.
How can I protect myself from tax identity theft?
You can protect yourself from tax identity theft by securing your Social Security Number, monitoring your credit, putting checks and balances in place on your financial accounts and remaining vigilant about protecting your personal information.
Dealing with tax identity theft can be a challenging process, but with Clean Slate Tax’s tips, you can navigate your way more easily to reach a resolution. Also, remember that it’s easier to prevent tax identity theft than to resolve it, hence keep your data secure and keep a close watch to detect theft early.