How to Contact the IRS About Identity Theft?

How to Contact the IRS About Identity Theft?

According to the IRS website, there are a number of ways to discover that you were a victim of identity theft. If you were, there’s a good chance you’d find out right after submitting your taxes. The IRS might notify you through a letter, for instance, that you have submitted several returns or that someone else has used your information to submit a return.

You can learn that you have a “balance owed” or a “refund offset” as well. Even worse, you might learn that the IRS is attempting to get money from you for a year that you failed to pay your taxes, indicating that they believe you owe them money. (If you use a tax preparation service, they might let you know, but you’ll almost certainly receive a letter from the IRS shortly after that informing you of the same thing.)

There are steps you can take to report an identity theft. The IRS has established a division to look into cases of identity theft and released a form for people to report incidents.

When and how to file Form 14039

The IRS Identity Theft Affidavit (Form 14039) is the form you must use to tell them that you suspect you are a victim of identity theft because it has become such a widespread problem. The form can be completed online, printed, and then sent by fax or post afterward. On page two of Form 14039, there are instructions for submitting the form (depending on how it was printed, this may be on the back of the form). Additionally, a Spanish translation is included (Form 14039SP).

You must enclose a photocopy of a valid form of identification with Form 14039, such as a passport in good standing, a driver’s license issued by a US state, a social security card, or any document recognized by the US Federal or State governments.

If your Social Security card was recently stolen from your wallet or pocketbook while it was in your purse, you can still file Form 14039 to alert the IRS to flag your account for potential issues in the future, even if you haven’t yet experienced identity theft. This won’t guarantee that you won’t still run into issues, but it will give you a head start in handling them if they do.

A lost or stolen wallet or dubious information on your credit report are just a couple of the reasons identified for having grounds to worry that you might become a victim of identity theft. It is often a good idea to have a police record that details a stolen phone, wallet, or handbag.

More Resources to Prevent Identity Theft

The IRS also suggests calling the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU), toll-free at 1-800-908-4490, if you think you might be a victim of identity theft. The IPSU is accessible from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in your local time zone. (Alaska and Hawaii adhere to the Pacific time zone.)

You should also report your stolen identity to the local police and the Federal Trade Commission if you think it has been stolen.

Other steps you can take to safeguard your identity include shredding official documents, safeguarding your financial information, and using identity theft protection services. You should also avoid carrying documents with your social security number or taxpayer identification number. Once a year, check your credit and keep all of your passwords up to date. Finally, unless it is absolutely necessary to do so and you know who you are interacting with, you should avoid providing personal information over the phone or electronically.

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