Dallas, Texas, March 2017 – Imagine after sending in your annual tax return, you receive a notice from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) saying that another return has already been filed using your name and Social Security number – and claiming a refund. Sound impossible? It can happen if you become one of a growing number of victims of tax return identity theft. According to one estimate, tax-related identity theft cases have soared more than 650% since 2008. At the least, this crime can lead to a delay in your refund, but the consequences may be much more serious. In addition, you may face a larger problem with identify theft if the scammer is also running up credit card debt or taking out loans in your name. The IRS is warning that patience may be necessary this year. For one thing, identity theft and tax refund scams have become significant concerns, so the IRS is taking extra measures to spot fraudulent returns.
To avoid becoming a victim, we recommend steps such as safeguarding your Social Security number and other financial information, keeping an eye on changes to your credit ratings and taking precautions with electronic transfers of confidential information. Be sure to contact us if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft or have any concerns about preparing to file your return, as we can offer personalized answers to all your financial questions.