I’m a Victim of Tax-Related Identity Theft. What Do I Do?

id theft

What do you do if you can’t efile your tax return because a tax return has already been filed with your social security number?

If you have tried to efile your tax return and it’s rejected because of an error message that says there is a duplicate tax filing with your social security number, you might be a victim of tax-related identity theft.  Finding this out can cause a lot of emotions such as fear and frustration.  This discovery can be even more frustrating if you are due a refund.

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to this problem, but it is a problem you need to resolve.  Here are the steps you need to take in order to file your tax return.

  1. Complete Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit
  2. Paper file your tax return and attach Form 14039 to the back of your tax return.

After the IRS receives your tax return, they will mail you a letter saying that they have received your Form 14039.  The IRS will assign your case to their Identity Theft Assistance team member who will research the information and resolve your case.

Currently, the IRS says it takes between 120 – 480 days for them to resolve a case.  When they do resolve it, you will receive a letter from the IRS. 

After your case is resolved, you might receive an Identity Protection PIN.  This is a six-digit PIN that will be needed to efile a future tax return.

If you are interested in being proactive and avoiding the problem of identity theft with your tax return, you can get an IP PIN by going to the IRS website page Get An Identity Protection PIN and click on the blue Get an IP PIN button.

For some tax-saving tips, check out our report on  5 Tax Saving Strategies to Start Today!

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