After gathering up all my tax documents, my preparer calculated my tax returns and I am getting a small refund. A fancy dinner refund, but I am excited just the same! On my way to the dentist, I stopped at the office to pick up my documents and sign the paperwork authorizing electronic e-file.
The phone call came an hour later. Somebody else has already filed my return using my social security number! How? And most importantly what do I do now?
- Make sure all social security numbers on the tax return are accurate, including you, your dependents and your spouse. If so continue to step 2.
- Send Form 14039 to IRS (or request your tax preparer to do so on your behalf).
- File a complaint with the FTC at identitytheft.gov
- Check your credit report with the three major credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert.
Although my refund came eventually, it was a very slow process. But, I got through it. Don’t panic but do learn how to protect your identity in the future.