Protect Yourself From Tax Identity Theft with an IRS provided PIN

Protect Yourself From Tax Identity Theft - Here’s how to limit your risk of tax refund fraud


The IRS issues victims of tax identity theft a six-digit Identity Protection PIN for use in filing returns once cases have been resolved. Returns can’t be filed without the number, and the taxpayer receives a new one every year. But you don’t have to be a victim to obtain such a PIN. ... people who are potential victims of identity theft—be it from a stolen purse or a data breach—can notify the IRS by filing Form 14039, “Identity Theft Affidavit,” and checking Box 2. The IRS may or may not grant a PIN, but filing the form could qualify taxpayers for other heightened security measures, according to an IRS spokeswoman.
Comment: Link to IRS article. Link to IRS form.


  1. Someone filed a false tax return in your name. What now?

    Comment: Good article. Helpful section:

    The first clue you will have if you are a victim comes when you file your tax return. If you e-file and your identity has been stolen, your return will be rejected by the IRS. If you originally mailed your tax return, you will receive a notice in the mail from the IRS stating that someone has already filed using your Social Security number.

    If this happens to you, act fast. "Acting quickly and alerting your financial institutions and the credit reporting agencies to the fraud can help stop thieves from opening new accounts. Thieves don't just use your information once -- they use it again and again. The faster you respond, the less time they have to do damage," Frost says.

    Jeremy Morris, product manager at H&R Block, says you should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490 and report the theft. The next step is to fill out Form 14039, the Identity Theft Affidavit, available at IRS.gov.

    If you tried to e-file your return and it was rejected, you will have to mail in your tax return to the IRS.

    Taxpayers may want to consider additional avenues, including reporting the fraud to the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Also consider filing a police report and a complaint with the FTC, placing a fraud alert on your credit-report account and monitoring your credit reports for unfamiliar accounts or activity.

    Get an Identity Protection PIN from the IRS. This is a six-digit number created for eligible taxpayers to help prevent future fraudulent use of your Social Security number. If you have been a victim of identity theft, the IRS will send you a CP01F notice, inviting you to apply for a PIN. Also, if you live in Florida, Georgia or the District of Columbia -- areas with high rates of tax-return fraud -- you may apply on your own. In the future, you will use this PIN when you file your return. Any return filed without the proper PIN will be rejected by the IRS.

  2. Resolving Tax Identity Theft Took Average of Nine Months:

    Taxpayers who had cases of tax identity theft resolved in fiscal year 2013 experienced significant delays and errors in refunds, according to a report issued Thursday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, an official Internal Revenue Service watchdog known as Tigta.

    The IRS took an average 278 days—roughly nine months—to resolve the identity-theft cases in fiscal 2013, Tigta said. That is far longer than the IRS’s estimate at the time of 180 days, or about six months.

  3. Nicely presented information in this blog, I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the post.

    Prevent Identity Theft


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