Tax Identity Theft Can Happen to Anyone
Tax Identity Theft Can Happen to Anyone

Submitted by q2tech on April 10, 2019

What is tax-related identity theft?

Every year the IRS warns us against tax-related identity theft. Typically, this occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number (SSN) to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. If you become a victim, the IRS is committed to resolving your case as quickly as possible.  However, you may be unaware that this has happened until you e-file your return and discover that a return already has been filed using your social security number (SSN). Or, the IRS may send you a letter saying it has identified a suspicious return using your SSN.  They may contact you for one of these reasons:

  • More than one tax return was filed for you
  • You owe additional tax, have a refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return
  • IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer for whom you did not work

If you are a victim of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission recommends these steps:

  • File a complaint with the FTC at
  • Contact one (or all three) of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records:
  • Close any financial or credit accounts opened by identity thieves

If your SSN is compromised and you know or suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, the IRS recommends these additional steps:

  • Respond immediately to any IRS notice; call the number provided.
  • Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, if your e-file return rejects because of a duplicate filing under your SSN or you are instructed to do so. Use a fillable form at, print, then attach form to your paper return and mail according to instructions.
  • Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.
  • If you previously contacted the IRS and did not have a resolution, contact us for specialized assistance at 1-800-908-4490. We have teams available to assist.

Data breach victims should submit a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, only if your Social Security number has been compromised and IRS has informed you that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft or your e-file return was rejected as a duplicate.

More information is available at: