Last year, we have seen an increased number of identity theft cases related to the IRS and state government filings. Basically, the fraudsters file a return with the IRS to steal your refund. Identity thieves use a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund. Generally, this is done early in the filing season. A taxpayer may be unaware that his or her identity been stolen until they file his or her return later in the filing season and discover that two returns have been filed using the same SSN.
The IRS is developing a comprehensive identity theft strategy to prevent, detect and resolve identity theft cases as soon as possible, but currently this is major risk to all taxpayers. The burden shifts to you as the taxpayer and the amount of time and money it takes to resolve this matter.
The IRS is designing new identity theft screening filters and placing identity theft indicators on taxpayer accounts to track and manage identity theft incidents. In 2011, a group of taxpayers received a special Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) for use in filing their tax returns for this filing season. Additionally, the IRS is expanding a pilot program to mark the accounts of deceased taxpayers to prevent misuse by identity thieves.
Please note that the IRS does not correspond by e-mail, so immediately delete any of these communications. If you think you have been a victim of this type of identity, please contact us immediately.