Usually identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to steal your financial accounts and run up charges on your existing credit cards.
Your tax records are also open to this type of fraud.
- Someone who can't get a Social Security Number—or doesn't want to use their own—uses yours to get a job
- That person's employer reports the thief's wages on the W-2 to the IRS using your information
- The identity thief files a tax return using your Social Security Number to receive a refund;
- You file a return, and it appears to the IRS that the return you just submitted is a second copy or duplicate
- The IRS sends you a notice or letter stating:
- More than one tax return for you was filed
- IRS records indicate you received wages from an employer unknown to you
What You Should Do
If you receive a notice from the IRS that leads you to believe someone may have fraudulently used your Social Security Number, contact the IRS either by phone or in writing as directed in that notice.
IRS tax examiners will work with you and other agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, to help resolve the problem.
The IRS does not request personal taxpayer information through e-mail. If you do receive this type of request, it may be an attempt from identity thieves to get your private tax information.
Visit the IRS web site for a ton of information on identity theft and your tax records as well as identity theft in general.
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