First of all, don’t panic! Having someone file a tax return with your name and social security number has become more common lately, and the IRS is hip to it.
All you need to deal with this is a printer, your signature, some attached documents, some postage, and some time.
Steps for dealing with someone filing a tax return under your name and social
- Don’t Panic!
- Call the IRS and tell them (recommended, but optional)
- Fill out an identity theft affidavit (IRS form 14039 – it’s easy)
- Mail it in with your tax return
- Don’t forget to sign
- Attach your W2s, etc
- You’ll be fine
Call the IRS and wade through the muck of touch tone wretchedness. It’s actually not that bad. When you get through, they are usually pretty friendly and helpful.
You should generally mail in your tax return along with the ID theft form to the same address that is correct for filing your tax return normally. Click here for a list of IRS mailing addresses.
Sign your tax return (and the ID theft form) – and if you have a spouse, he or she signs the tax return too. If you have a tax preparer, you all need to sign. These all need to be hand signed – it can’t be electronic.
Don’t forget that when you mail in a tax return, to attach anything with “tax withholding” on it such as a W2 or 1099R.
Don’t forget to file your state tax return as well, if applicable.
Now you must wait. The IRS has a team of fraud specialists and sometimes they get backed up. At some point, from 2-6 months, you should get a letter giving you the “all clear”.
At that point you will also qualify for an ID protection PIN, so no one except can e-file under your name and social again.
How do you know someone filed a tax return under your name and social?
You probably found out because you (or your tax preparer) informed you that your e-file was rejected. The reason for the rejection was that a tax return under your name and social security number has already been filed, right? (leave a comment if I’m wrong).
But you didn’t file it.
Were you hacked?
I doubt it’s your fault, however. Hackers have worked there way into most systems of major corporations and there was even a huge breach at the IRS.
These fraudsters have hacked into major databases containing all kinds of “knowledge based authentication” about you – including your W2 information.
This has happened at Equifax, Turbo Tax (Intuit), Capital One (now everyone knows what’s in your wallet), Citi, Target, DropBox, Yahoo, and many, many, more places.
The hackers use your withholding info to file a tax return with the biggest refund possible and they route it into their own back accounts. Then I guess they close the bank accounts, I don’t know.
Pleas leave a comment and let me know how it goes for you. Keep us posted.