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IRS: Avoid tax fraud identity theft

Every year with tax season comes the possibility of having your identity stolen for IRS and tax fraud related reasons.

tax return forms to file with the IRS as fast as possible to help avoid falling victim to tax fraud

One of the IRS’ suggestions is to file your taxes as soon as you can to avoid the possibility of falling victim to tax identity theft.

During the first three quarters of 2020 there were 92,000 reports of tax related fraud, according to Marca.

Tax fraud is the fifth most comment type of fraud investigated by the Federal Trade Commission.


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How does tax identity theft from the IRS work?

This happens when someone else steals your Social Security number to file a tax return.

The people who steal your identity to file taxes have the refunds deposited into their accounts or sent to them.

Around 100,000 complaints are made each year, despite there being a large decrease in this type of fraud over the years.


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How do I know if someone stole my identity to file a return with the IRS?

If your Social Security number was already used then the IRS will reject your tax return.

If you’re sent a notification from the IRS saying an online account was created, used, or disabled when you did not complete the action someone else has done it.

You could be a victim of tax fraud if you receive a Form 1099-G for unemployment when you never claimed unemployment.

If you get a W-2 from a company you never worked for you may have fallen victim to tax fraud.

If the IRS catches it and suspects tax fraud they will send you a letter to verify your identity.


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How to avoid falling victim to tax fraud

Be wary of scammers posing as the IRS looking for your personal information or money.

The IRS will never call you, they will always reach out by mail first.

File your returns as soon as you possibly can.

When filing online, be sure your internet is secure with unique passwords.

Do as many authentication steps as you can, including a PIN.

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