Heading into the tax filing deadline, tips for dealing with identity theft

April 18, 2017 07:37 PM

The taxman cometh... In fact, he's here and his arrival is all the more painful if you're a victim of identity theft and can't get your tax refund because someone else has already filed using your social security number.

The IRS confirmed 376,500 people reported being a victim of identity theft last year. That’s down from 698,700 in 2015 - a drop of 46 percent. The IRS credits its 2016 crackdown on identity theft for last year’s big drop. But the numbers are still scary. Consumer investigator Deanna Dewberry should know. It happened to her. She found out when she tried to file her return electronically.

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These screenshots illustrate what she saw. When she tried to file, her return was rejected because of her dependents’ social security numbers.

Next she was to verify her dependents’ social security numbers. When she did so, her return was rejected again. 

She was then told she’d have to file by mail, and it would take longer for her to get her refund.

Later she and her husband were notified by mail and told someone else had used two of their children's social security numbers fraudulently. If you are a victim tax time ID theft, here's Deanna's do list.

1. Respond immediately to any notice from the IRS.

2. Complete an IRS Form 14039 and send it in.  If you’ve not mailed your return, attach the form to the return.

3. File a complaint with the FTC.

4. If you previously contacted the IRS and have not gotten resolution, call for specialized assistance at 1-800-908-4490


Deanna Dewberry

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