Tax ID Theft Week
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By: Administrator

Tax identity theft is the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) , and with the start of the 2014 tax season, the FTC named January 13-17 Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

Tax identity theft happens when someone files a phony tax return using your personal information, such as a Social Security number (SSN), to get a tax refund from the IRS.  It can also happen when someone uses your SSN to get a job or claims your child as a dependent on a tax return. 

The FTC provides tips to lessen the chance you’ll be a victim:

File your tax return early in the tax season, if you can.

Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically, or mail your tax return directly from the post office.

Shred copies of your tax return, drafts, or calculation sheets you no longer need.

Respond to all mail from the IRS as soon as possible.

Know the IRS won’t contact you by email, text, or social media. If the IRS needs information, it will contact you by mail.

Don’t give out your Social Security number (SSN) unless necessary.

Research a tax preparer thoroughly before you hand over personal information.

If your SSN has been compromised, contact the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.

Check your credit report at least once a year for free at to make sure no other accounts have been opened in your name.

If you become victim to tax identity theft, the IRS typically sends a letter saying more than one tax return was filed in your name, or IRS records will show they received wages from an employer they don’t know. If you get a letter like this contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.

For more information about tax identity theft visit the FTC or the IRS websites.

The IRS has made identity theft and refund fraud one of its top priorities. According Tax-News the IRS has seen significant increase in refund fraud and will continue to see increases in 2014. By assigning 3,000 employees to work on identity-theft related issues, and training more than 35,000 employees, the IRS is working to prevent theft and fraud for the 2014 filing season.