Posted by Abundant Returns Tax Service

Top Three Tips In Using Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit)

Top Three Tips In Using Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit)

Identity Theft has been a serious problem in the United States for many years. In 2011, more than 641, 000 taxpayers experienced identity theft according to the Internal Revenue Service records. The problem does not only cause a great deal of inconvenience towards taxpayers but also forced the whole IRS to secure tax refunds made by stolen Social Security numbers (SSNs) as well as other personal information. The U.S Treasury would have wasted $6.5 billion due to stolen identities in 2011.

Are you a victim of identity theft? Do you feel you’re at risk for your identity to be stolen? It’s best to let the IRS know about your situation using the Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit.

Here are the top three tips we want to share with you in using Form 14039:

Pay Attention To the Warning Signs

The first indication that there’s something wrong is a written notice from the IRS. Since identity thieves file their fraudulent returns early, once you file and the IRS already received a return carrying your SSN, they will alert you by sending a mail to you right away. Another step that the IRS takes to protect taxpayers is contacting suspected identity theft victims whose SSN matches that of the theft who owes money or gets a refund that covers due taxes even though no return was filed. Another red flag that the agency sends a notice with is questionable income from an unreported employer or a collection notice related to a return that was never filed.

Take The Post-Notice Steps Right Away

The following steps are done once the notice from the IRS arrives:

The phone number provided by the IRS on the notice must be called right away.
Form 14039 Affidavit of Identity Theft must be completed. There is a downloadable version found from the IRS website (irs.gov) wherein you can just type directly to it.

There are boxes that indicate the reason why you received the notice - check the identity theft box. The form must be completed and you must attach a photocopy of official identification like your driver’s license, passport, Social Security card or government-issued ID card. You’ll find the instructions for faxing and mailing found in the notice or on Form 14039. Make sure you prepare several copies in case you need them such as for student financial-aid audits.
Always Be Cautious

Don’t hesitate to let the IRS know if you believe your identity has been stolen by another individual and used your personal information without your consent. Submit Form 14039 and check the “potential victim” box if you see any suspicious or unfamiliar entries and charges on your credit card report and credit card charges. In case all of these activities happen after you lost your purse or have your wallet stolen, it's a sign that you are a victim of identity theft.

If you confirmed that you or your child is a victim of identity theft, check the second box stating that your future returns may be at risk. A copy of government-issued ID and police report if available must be included. The affidavit must then be mailed to the address for suspicions or faxed to the number found on page two. Lastly, inform the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling them using the toll-free number : (800) 908-4490.

Prevent Identity Theft

Identity thieves have endless opportunities to steal from you. They work every day all throughout the year by sending emails offering free tax preparation and ask you some important information to supposedly resolve an issue about your return or refund. Do not click any links from these emails as you might get a virus on your hard drive allowing thieves to gather sensitive information from your computer. The stolen information will be used to again steal from you and the government. The IRS is asking taxpayers to forward email scams at phishing@irs.gov.

The most important tip we can give you is to never communicate with any individuals electronically because the IRS never work that way. The agency communicates via letters sent through the U.S Postal Service. The best way to protect yourself is to always be alert and be aware of the things you can do to prevent identity theft.

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