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Archive for Identity Theft

Signs Of Identity Theft Tax Pros Should Watch Out For

Signs Of Identity Theft Tax Pros Should Watch Out For

With identity thieves continuing to target the tax community, Internal Revenue Service Security Summit partners today urged tax professionals to learn the signs of data theft so they can react quickly to protect clients.

The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry – working together as the Security Summit – reminded tax professionals that they should contact the IRS immediately when there’s an identity theft issue while also contacting insurance or cybersecurity experts to assist them with determining the cause and extent of the loss.

“Tax pros must be vigilant to protect their systems from identity thieves who continue to look for ways to steal data,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Practitioners can take simple steps to remain on the lookout for signs of data and identity theft. It’s critical for tax pros to watch out for these details and to quickly take action when tell-tale signs emerge. This can be critical to protect their business as well as their clients against identity theft.”

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IRS Instructions: Victims Of Tax Related Identity Theft

IRS On Identity Theft

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded all taxpayers – particularly those who are identity theft victims – of an important step they should take to protect themselves from tax fraud.

Some identity thieves use taxpayers’ information to file fraudulent tax returns. By requesting Identity Protection PINs from the Get an IP PIN tool on IRS.gov, taxpayers can prevent thieves from claiming tax refunds in their names.

Identity Protection PINs And How To Get One

An IP PIN is a six-digit number the IRS assigns to an individual to help prevent the misuse of their Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on federal income tax returns. The IP PIN protects the taxpayer’s account, even if they’re no longer required to file a tax return, by rejecting any e-filed return without the taxpayer’s IP PIN

Taxpayers should request an IP PIN:

  • If they want to protect their SSN or ITIN with the IRS,
  • If they want to protect their dependent’s SSN or ITIN with the IRS,
  • If they think their SSN, ITIN or personal information was exposed by theft or fraudulent acts or
  • If they suspect or confirm they’re a victim of identity theft.

Taxpayers can go to IRS.gov/getanippin to complete a thorough authentication check. Once authentication is complete, an IP PIN will be provided online immediately. A new IP PIN is generated every year for added security. Once an individual is enrolled in the IP PIN program, there’s no way to opt-out.

The IRS may automatically assign an IP PIN if the IRS determines the taxpayer’s a victim of tax-related identity theft. The taxpayer will receive a notification confirming the tax-related ID theft incident along with an assigned IP PIN for future tax-return filings.

Taxpayers will either receive a notice with their new IP PIN every year in early January for the next filing season or they must retrieve their IP PIN by going to IRS.gov.

Tax-related Identity Theft And How To Handle It

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Immediate Steps to Take If Your Identity Is Stolen

Kazim Qasim

A recent study confirmed that over 16 million people were the victims of identity theft in the span of one year in America alone, which resulted in $16.8 billion in stolen money. Identity theft is dangerous to your wallet and to your credit. Identity thieves use your information to take out loans, obtain credit cards, make purchases, get apartment leases and much more. Since these items are acquired with your credentials, these people don’t bother paying bills on time or at all. In the vast majority of cases, when your identity is stolen you’ll be held responsible for all the outstanding debt.

Warning Signs Of Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission has outlined some helpful warning signs to know if your identity may have been stolen. These include:

  • Unfamiliar bank activity on your bank statements
  • Collection calls from debtors you don’t recognize
  • Merchants suddenly declining your check purchases
  • Unusual credit report activity
  • Letters that you’ve been denied credit when you did not apply
  • Bills for services you didn’t sign up for
  • Unusual lack of mail
  • Medical claim rejections
  • IRS notice that your refund was already disbursed
  • Published news that a company has had their data hacked
  • Your wallet has recently been lost or misplaced

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IRS Urges Small Businesses: Protect IT Systems From Identity Theft

WASHINGTON – The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry are warning small businesses to be on-guard against a growing wave of identity theft attempts against employers.

Small business identity theft is big business for identity thieves. When businesses and their employees have their identities stolen, their sensitive information can be used to open credit card accounts or file fraudulent tax returns for bogus refunds. Read more