Cases of identity theft seem to be on the rise in recent years. This crime can cause irreparable harm to a person’s credit score and credit worthiness, as well as cause them to lose their tax returns. When the identity theft occurs in terms of a tax return, there are a number of steps that must be taken in order to rectify the situation. This can hold up the return be issued, as well as cause future issues with receiving returns in a timely manner.
As soon as the identity theft is detected, the individual will want to get in touch with the fraud department of the IRS. IRS form 14039 is the first step to clearing the situation. The typical process will lead the individual along a trail where they must prove who they are and that they have had their identity stolen.
The next step in the process is to contact credit reporting bureaus in order to have credit reporting frozen. This will also take a certain amount of paperwork in order to substantiate the situation.
The police can also act as a friend. File identity theft reports with the local police agency in order to assure that any negative impact the incident may have on credit scores can be avoided. Finally get in touch with the tax advocate. These individuals are trained to help taxpayers deal with these situations.
Prevention is the key
Individuals who have already been victim to identity theft will attest to the fact that the more the fact will make it easier to reverse the theft if certain things are done beforehand. Many banks and financial institutions have safeguards that can be acquired for very little to no cost at all for their clients. While they cannot guarantee that a theft of one’s identity will never happen, they can get it resolved quicker and with less hassle than if the individual does not enroll. Protecting your identity with the best credit monitoring service you can afford is one of the more proactive methods you can employ to keep identity thieves at bay.
Another way to prevent identity theft is to get the credit reports one is entitled to every year. Make sure that all of the information is correct and be sure sure to have the bureau fix ambiguities. Keep track of bank records and transactions as well. Many banks will put a flag on the accounts if they know you have been a victim.
The Government is Not Exempt
Phishing expeditions can entail a number of different strategies in order to get an individual’s personal information. One such strategy can be the thief using government logos and business in order to get people to give them their information.
If you or a loved one have been contacted through electronic or phone contacts that a government agency needs your information to absolve a situation, ask questions. Never give out SSA numbers or personal information over the internet or phone. Always make he individuals asking for the information prove who they are and why they need the information.
Identity theft is more than just someone taking your information and using it without your permission. This is a serious crime that can harm an individual for years (and sometimes for their lifetime). Bad credit reports can harm an individual in ways that can prevent them from getting a car, home, or even a job.
Identity theft can prevent the individual from getting the financial help they need to go to college, or even continue getting student loans. It can take years to clear up financial debts, as well as harm the reputation of the individual irreparably. If you have been contacted about an IRS identity theft issue, take it seriously and deal with it.