Tax Identity Theft: What to do if you are a victim?

Tis the season for tax filing! As the deadline approaches, you may find that someone else has fraudulently filed your taxes, claiming your refund check for himself. Last year, 1.6 million taxpayers were affected by identity theft in the first six months alone. While the IRS has created new measures to protect against taxpayers – like adding new pre-fund filters and limiting the way people direct deposited refunds – there are still taxpayers who will fall victim to identity theft.

Did the identity thieves beat you to the punch? If you suffered tax identity theft this season, here are some ways you can remedy the problem:

  • File an Identity Theft Affidavit with the IRS, ASAP. This flags your account with the IRS, letting them know they should keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
  • Place a complaint with the FTC, so that the commission can detect patterns of fraud and abuse.
  • Place a fraud alerts on your credit records. FTC shows you how in this step-by-step process.
  • Be patient. Unfortunately, these cases take time to resolve. A typical identity theft case with the IRS takes 120 days, according to the Washington Post.