Stolen Identity Refund Fraud


IRS Definition:

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security Number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.

More from H&R Block:

You may try to e-file a tax return and get a message like this: “The IRS e-file system noted that this tax return is another or duplicate return with the same TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) or primary taxpayer’s Social Security Number (SSN). The IRS e-file system can only accept one tax return with the same TIN or SSN per tax year.”

You may think: “Did I hit the e-file button twice? Did I put in the wrong SSN?”

After searching for an answer, you figure out that you are most likely a victim of stolen identity refund fraud. Someone has stolen your identity to file a false return and get a refund. What’s next?

Unfortunately, millions of people have been victims of stolen identity refund fraud or tax identity theft. You shouldn’t panic; your refund is not lost forever.

  • First, you’ll need to repair your identity with the IRS (that is, prove your return was the correct one). This includes filing an Identity Theft Affidavit
  • Second, you’ll need to file a paper return to get your refund.
  • Lastly, to prevent stolen identity refund fraud in the future, you’ll need to file your return using a special identity code each year.

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