What Is Tax Identity Theft? (Solution found)

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen personal information, including your Social Security number, to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.


  • Tax identity theft is when someone uses your Social Security number to steal your tax refund or for work. People often discover tax identity theft when they file their tax returns.

Can someone steal your identity with your tax return?

If someone has enough of your personal information to file a tax return in your name, they also could be opening fraudulent credit accounts with your data. Check your credit score regularly in case there’s a sudden, unexplained drop. If this happens, it could be a sign that you’re a victim of identity theft.

How do I stop tax identity theft?

10 Steps to Avoiding Tax-Return Identity Theft

  1. Leave your Social Security card home.
  2. Keep your SSN private.
  3. Make your passwords work for you.
  4. Protect against computer spam and viruses.
  5. Keep financial information private.
  6. Beware of phishing.
  7. Shred bank and tax documents.
  8. Reduce credit card solicitations.

What happens if someone filed taxes in your name?

If someone uses your information to file a fraudulent tax return, he or she is looking to get your tax refund. You’ll want to work with the IRS as soon as you discover the identity theft to ensure that your actual return is processed as quickly as possible.

How do I find out if my taxes have been filed by someone else?

IRS officials can review the current status of your tax return to determine whether or not someone has already filed a return using your identity. Contact the IRS at ​ 1-800-829-0433 ​ if you think someone has filed your taxes without your permission.

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How can I find out if someone used my Social Security number for taxes?

If you believe someone is using your Social Security number to work, get your tax refund, or other abuses involving taxes, contact the IRS online or call 1-800-908-4490. You can order free credit reports annually from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

Why does the IRS not recognize my Social Security number?

Generally, you get this message when there is an error with your last name or Social Security number. According to the IRS, this message can pop up if you have multiple or hyphenated last names. Contact the IRS support line at 800-829-1040 to identify the issue and verify what they have on file.

What if someone filed my taxes without me knowing?

When you discover another a tax return has been filed with your Social Security number, you’ll use IRS Form 14039 to alert the IRS. After you complete Form 14039, mail it to the IRS with a copy of your Social Security card and driver’s license.

Will the IRS ask for your SSN?

Taxpayers and tax professionals who call the IRS will be asked to verify their identities. To make sure that taxpayers do not have to call back, the IRS reminds taxpayers to have the following information ready: Social Security numbers and birth dates for those who were named on the tax return.

How long does it take for the IRS to investigate identity theft?

How long does that take? It depends on the complexity of your problem. The IRS says that it resolves tax identity theft cases in 120 to 180 days, depending on your circumstances. But in many instances, victims of complex tax identity theft have experienced resolution times of more than one year.

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How do I know if I am a victim of identity theft?

How Do I Know if My Identity Has Been Stolen?

  • Statements or bills for accounts you never opened arriving in the mail.
  • Statements or bills for legitimate accounts not showing up.
  • You’re unexpectedly denied credit.
  • Unauthorized bank transactions or withdrawals.

Is it illegal to file someone else’s taxes?

You can legally file a tax return for someone else The IRS says you can file a tax return for someone else as long you have their permission to do so. As a non-professional, you are not allowed to charge a fee for preparing tax returns.

What is the IRS innocent spouse rule?

The innocent spouse rule allows a taxpayer to avoid a tax obligation arising from errors made by a spouse on a joint return. Most commonly, the error involves unreported income or an inflated deduction. The taxpayer must apply for relief within two years of the IRS initiating collection.

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