Did someone file before you with your SS#
By Barry G. Fowler, EA on 2012-06-19
Are you still looking for your refund!
A lot of the identity theft in the news involves defrauding lending institutions by using Social Security numbers and other identifying information to open up credit cards or take out loans, thieves have also figured out how to get your tax refund before you. By using your personal information to file a return early in the tax season, the thief might just beat you to your own refund. IRS may be the one to tip you off – it is alerted to possible fraud when more than one tax return is filed using the same Social Security number, or a report of wages is filed from an employer that the taxpayer claims never to have worked for."
These days Tax refund theft is a lot more widespread than most people know,” said Barry Fowler, EA, an enrolled agent in Houston, TX. “People never knew that someone has filed a return using their name and information until their e-filed return is rejected with an error code stating that they have already filed, or they get a letter from the IRS.”
The frequency of this kind of fraud has resulted in the creation of the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit to focus on the threat. IRS’ comprehensive identity theft strategy is aimed at preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as quickly as possible. However, this process takes weeks even months to clear up. Identity theft filters now in place make it easier to spot false returns before they are processed and before a refund is issued. If IRS is informed as soon as a taxpayer suspects his or her personal information may have been stolen, the taxpayer’s account will be tagged and tracked in order to head off trouble.
Taxpayers who have reason to believe their personal information has been stolen should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit immediately 1-800-908-4490. If you receive a notice from IRS that someone may be trying to file a fraudulent return in your name, follow the instructions on the notice as soon as possible. And, if you use a paid return preparer this year, make certain that he or she has a preparer tax identification number. As of 2011, all paid tax return preparers must be registered with IRS. Enrolled agents, certified public accountants and tax attorneys have always been registered, but this new requirement of all tax preparers should help to reign in unscrupulous preparers and safeguard taxpayers.
Also, if you need help contact us or you can even file a form 911 to get the Taxpayer Advocate service to assist you!