Identity theft is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences for its victims. If you suspect that you may be a victim of identity theft, it is important to take action immediately. By filing a claim with the IRS, you can protect your rights and receive compensation for any damages caused by identity theft.
The IRS recommends taking these steps:
- Respond immediately to any IRS notice; call the number provided
- Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit
- Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if it’s done on paper
What is Form 14039?
Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, is used to report an incident of identity theft and is an important step to take if you believe your information has been stolen. The form helps the IRS and other relevant agencies to protect you and investigate the theft. It’s important to note that the form should be completed as soon as possible after you suspect identity theft.
Form 14039 is divided into three sections:
The first section asks for your personal information, such as your name, address and Social Security number. This information is used for authentication purposes so that the IRS can verify your identity.
The second section requests information about the suspected identity theft, including the type of theft and when and where it happened.
Lastly, the third section requires a signed statement from you verifying that all the information you provided is true and accurate.
How do I know if I’m a victim of identity theft?
According to the IRS, you should be alert to possible tax-related identity theft if you are contacted by them stating that:
- More than one tax return was filed for you
- You owe additional tax, have a refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return
- IRS records indicate you received wages or income from an employer for whom you did not work
How can I prevent identity theft?
Identity theft can be a stressful experience that can have long-term consequences. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft. The IRS recommends that you take the following preventative measures:
- Use strong passwords
- Check your credit reports regularly
- Monitor your financial accounts and statements
- Use firewalls and antivirus software
With this information in mind, you will be able to file a claim with the IRS, as well as prevent identity theft from happening again. If you haven’t already, read our article 5 Types of Tax Scams and How to Avoid Them in 2023 to be aware of other scams that can potentially occur.