Types of Identity Theft
This occurs when the identity thief uses the victim’s SSN to file a false federal income tax return to obtain funds. If the thief files before the victim, the victim may not receive his or her refund, or even be able to file their tax forms in a timely fashion.
Employment-related or income-related
This occurs when the identity thief uses the victim’s SSN to obtain employment, resulting in what may appear as unreported income under the victim's account.
Remediating Identity Theft with the IRS
Before proceeding with any of the steps below, contact the IRS at (800) 908-4490. They will tell you how to proceed and which steps you need to follow.
For both forms of identity theft the taxpayer must submit the following documentation to the IRS by mail or by visiting the local IRS Office:
Refund-related identity theft
1. A photocopy of one or more of the following:
- Social Security Card
- Driver’s License
- Other Federal or State issued identification, AND
2. One of the following:
- IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
- A photocopy of a police report indicating identity theft as the issue.
Attach the documentation referenced above to your paper return if you have not yet filed, or to a letter of explanation if you have already submitted a return. Send the information to the location where the return is filed.
Employment-related or income related identity theft
Attach the documentation referenced above along with any notice received from the IRS, and send to:
Internal Revenue Service
PO Box 9039
Andover, MA 01810–0939
Fax to (978) 247–9965
If additional assistance is needed, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) using the toll-free number 800-908-4490, or visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/ (keyword identity theft).
- Immediately change your passwords with all organizations with which you do financial transactions, using strong passwords and not using any password more than once. It is not possible to know which, if any, of these organizations lost control of your financial information or your SSN, so you must do all of them. Be sure to include medical providers and insurers as well.
- Open an online Social Security account for yourself and your spouse at ssa.gov. This will prevent somebody else from posing as you to open such an account.
- Read the Identity Theft Prevention and Victim Assistance brochure published by the IRS.
- If you have been impacted by this type of identity theft you should also contact your retirement/investment account providers to assure that they have not been affected.