Identity Theft and the IRS: What options do you have when you are a victim of identity theft?

Identity theft comes in all shapes and sizes and I’ve seen it all in my practice.

Typically, I’ve seen cases where someone’s social security number is stolen and someone else uses it to gain employment. 1099’s or W-2’s are generated and the wrong person gets a notice from the IRS saying that they have not included the income on their tax return. As a result they erroneously owe more taxes!!!

I’ve also seen tons of cases where someone filed a false return for an individual in order to claim a refund with stolen information. It can be a real nightmare navigating the IRS policies and procedures to get it rectified.

Businesses, you are not immune from this problem!!! Identity thieves have been using stolen information to get w-2 info from human resources in order to file false returns for refunds. They have also been using this information to get credit cards and lines of credit that leave you holding the bag when these credit cards aren’t paid off or line of credit is run up and maxed out.

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT? HERE ARE SOME WARNING SIGNS THAT SIGNAL YOU MAY BE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT:

1. Extension to file requests are rejected because a return with the Employer Identification Number or Social Security number is already on file;
2. An e-filed return is rejected because a duplicate EIN/SSN is already on file with the IRS;
3. An unexpected receipt of a tax transcript or IRS notice that doesn’t correspond to anything submitted by the filer.
4. Failure to receive expected and routine correspondence from the IRS because the thief has changed the address.

BUSINESSES SHOULD FOLLOW THESE PROCEDURES TO HELP PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM IDENTITY THEFT:

1. The name and SSN of the company executive authorized to sign the corporate tax return. Is this person authorized to sign the return?
2. Payment history – Were estimated tax payments made? If yes, when were they made, how were they made and how much was paid?
3. Parent company information – Is there a parent company? If yes, who?
4. Additional information based on deductions claimed.
5. Filing history – Has the business filed Form(s) 940, 941 or other business-related tax forms?

I’M A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT. NOW WHAT????

ALL HOPE IS NOT LOST!! With a little patience and good record keeping, you can prevail over this nightmare. The IRS has a hotline to resolve these issues and if you keep good records, you can show the IRS or bank that you were hacked and that you are not responsible for what the thief has done.

CALL ME TODAY IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT! I know who to call, what form to fill out and what information is needed to win these issues.

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