How Do I Know if My Identity Has Been Stolen?
If you’re a victim of identity theft, you might not immediately realize that your information has been compromised or that someone has filed your taxes without your permission. So, how do you know if your identity has been stolen? In the case of tax fraud, your first indication of trouble might be a notice from the IRS. The notice might alert you that either:
- More than one return has been filed in your name.
- Your account shows a balance due, refund offset, or collections action for a year you weren’t required to file a return.
- You had income from an employer you’ve never worked for or show more income than you actually earned.
- Your state or federal benefits are canceled or reduced due to a report of change in income that you didn’t have.
If you receive a notice from the IRS regarding suspicious activity, call the number on the IRS notice immediately. With this situation, it’s better for you to get things solved as soon as possible.
What if you know your identity has been stolen, but you haven’t received IRS notification? If you think this is the case, you can report identity theft through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at http://www.idtheft.gov or by phone at 877-438-4338.
IRS Identity Theft Process – How It Happens and What You Can Do
Identity thieves can gain access to your personally identifiable information in a number of ways. It could be the result of a sophisticated hack of account information at a credit card company or retailer. Or, you could simply have your wallet stolen and have your data compromised.
Once you’ve been a victim of tax or IRS identity theft, the process to resolve the situation can take some time. The FTC offers information to help you create a plan to restore your identity.
Want Help Protecting Your Tax Identity?
H&R Block created Tax Identity Shield® as a tool to help protect those concerned about tax ID theft. Learn more about Tax Identity Shield from H&R Block.