If you’re a victim of identity theft, thieves can do a lot to ruin you financially. Aside from draining your bank account, getting treatment from your insurance, and shopping through your credit cards, they may also mess up your tax records by claiming fraudulent refunds.
Identity thieves use a variety of sneaky methods to steal information, such as sending you phishing emails or making phone calls seemingly from legitimate sources such as banks or government agencies. Generally, thieves can access data through information leaks from credit card companies, medical institutions, and even your own company.
Often, taxpayers realize that they’re a victim of identity theft only after they file their tax returns, which is already too late. If you notice the following red flags, inform the IRS right away:
· More than one tax return was filed using your SSN;
· You receive an unexpected notice from the IRS about your tax account (e.g. refund offset, collection actions);
· Records say you received wages from an employer you do not know
Proving you’re a victim of identity theft entails filing an affidavit and police report. If the IRS charges you with tax fraud and you believe there are thieves to be held responsible, you will need to get in touch with a tax attorney to build up your case.