If you have received an IRS notice in the mail indicating that the same Social Security number was used on two income tax returns, or if a notice arrives suggesting that you have earned wage income from an employer that you don’t know; you may the victim of identity theft. If it is found that identity theft has taken place, via a credit report or other means, an IRS Form 14039 should be filed with the agency to notify them. This is in addition to filing reports with credit bureaus, the police, and Social Security Administration. Also, there will be a phone number to contact on the notice or, if not, people can call 800-908-4490.
Identity theft can also impact accounts left by deceased citizens. IRS Form 14039 takes this into consideration. One can file on behalf of the deceased if they are the spouse, family member, certified personal representative, or court-appointed representative. An example of a certified personal representative could be a tax professional from a tax company that has been given Power of Attorney by the taxpayer. Sometimes this is done when the taxpayer cannot file for themselves. Documentation of identity must also be sent in. Original documents should never be sent, as legible photocopies are accepted without risk of losing the only existing version. IRS Form 14039 can be sent in before identity theft occurs in cases like burglary, inconsistencies in a credit report, or strange credit card activity.
It is very important to safeguard any information or documents that have a Social Security number (SSN) on it. One simple rule to stay protected is to not carry a Social Security card with them. They are best kept at home in a safe place or in a safety deposit box at a bank. Checking your credit report once every year is also vital. Personal information should also be protected when online or on the phone. For more tips on avoiding identity theft, contacting a certified tax professional is recommended. These experts can help with filing IRS Form 14039 or answer any tax-related questions that one may have.