For many families, the New Year brings hope of long awaited tax refunds. People may make plans to pay off debts or make significant purchases. Unfortunately, tax identity thieves may also be making plans to use those hard-earned dollars.
Tax identify thieves use other people’s Social Security Numbers (SSN) to file taxes and/or even obtain jobs. Most victims initially will not even be aware that this has happened. Some will be notified upon e-filing that a tax return has already been filed using their SSN.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Inspector General to bring awareness and tools to help people protect themselves from tax identity theft.
On their website, the FTC has provided free webinars and other information in order to learn what to do if you or someone you know needs assistance with tax identity theft or an IRS imposter scam. Information specifically dedicated to taxpayers, military service members and small business operators can also be found on the site.
The IRS has offered the following warning signs of possible tax-related identity theft:
- 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, or;
- IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer for whom you did not work.
If you believe you have been the victim of tax-related or any other type of identity theft, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General office can help. Go to indianaconsumer.com or call 1-800-382-5516 to make a complaint.