For the past few years, we have heard that identity theft was on the rise. Until it happens to you, you are unaware of the impacts and how it feels for someone to take possession of your most valuable assets. To have someone steal your identity for the purposes to commit fraud is an empty feeling. Your name, your ssn#, the number you were assigned at birth that allows the world to identify who you are.
Recently, this happened to me. The sad thing about this is that had I not listened to the small voice inside my head, the one that woke me up from my sleep and told me to do my own taxes this year I would have never found out. The Holy Spirit is powerful.
Many times when we think of identity theft, we think about people stealing our bank account information, our credit cards and we expect to find out about the crime will immediately. We assume that there is a traceable record back to the criminals who have frauded us. I have had to learn this is not true. Today, I am a victim of Tax Identity Theft. This type of identity theft is affecting many people and they have no idea. Every year we file our taxes and assume it has been processed and keep it moving, until we find out a year later when a large tax bill comes to your house or you can not file taxes the next year that there has been an issue.
Checking in with the IRS and your state tax office is a good precautionary measure this year to ensure you are in good standing. You may never know for a long period of time if you have been victimized unless you reach out and investigate. The sad thing about this tax identity theft is that the criminals are most often never caught. You are one if millions that this happens to therefore he likelihood of anyone being investigated and prosecuted is slim.
Five Steps to take if you have been a victim of tax fraud:
1. Notify the IRS – Notifying the IRS is a painful process. They may have you on the phone for 3 hours, however you must wait so that you can understand your situation. Ensure you document the operator number that assisted you. It is important to request all of the documents by number that you need to complete and submit.
2. Notify the Department of Revenue in your State – just like the Feds the state department needs to be noticed as well when you have an issue.
3. File a report with the local Police department – even if you have no idea who frayed you, file a police report anyway. You never know what information the local police department may have. You are a tax payer and it is your duty to file a police report.
4. Notify the credit bureau – either set up an account with each of the credit bureaus or call their office. Place a fraud alert on your account. This will allow the credit bureaus to watch your account more closely. This will also avoid companies from running soft pull reports and inquiries on you.
5. Trust no one with your personal information. Learn to do your own taxes or get them processed for free at your local IRS office.
We have got to stop this crime!
For more information visit <a href=”http://http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Combats-Identity-Theft-and-Refund-Fraud-on-Many-Fronts“>Identity Theft Information