CALL FOR A FREE
INITIAL CONSULTATION
813.254.5696

What You Need to Know about Tax Identity Theft and How It Can Affect Your Credit

Tax Identity Theft and Credit

The increasing popularity of filing tax returns online has given way to a rise in tax identity theft. According to data from the IRS, approximately $2.3 billion in consumer tax returns are stolen on an annual basis by identity thieves.

Tax identity theft occurs when a criminal files a person’s taxes fraudulently, claiming to be that person and receiving his or her tax return. When the individual whose identity was stolen attempts to actually file his or her taxes it is discovered that the return has already been processed and the money has been sent to someone else electronically.

All a fraudster needs to file a fraudulent return is a person’s social security number. They might also use other tax information to file the return, but it’s not necessary. They are able to file a fraudulent return using the consumer’s name and SSN, but their own address. They can then collect the refund check with the IRS usually being none the wiser a crime has occurred.

Most people have no idea they’ve been a victim of tax identity theft until they are unable to file their actual tax return for the year.

Preventing Tax Identity Theft

It’s impossible to completely eliminate the potential for tax identity theft to occur, but there are things that can be done that reduce the risk.

You should take usual, common sense measures with your social security number and card to avoid it being revealed to criminals. For instance, don’t carry your SSN card or anything that has the number on it with you. You should also avoid revealing our SSN to any individual or business unless absolutely necessary.

If you receive a phone call or email requesting personal information, refuse to share it unless you absolutely know who is contacting you and the reason for your request. Most legitimate reasons for requesting your SSN are handled in a matter that attempts to protect your information from criminals, so if something seems unusual it probably is.

You should also make an effort to secure your information as much as possible by using anti-virus software and firewalls on any devices where you post or enter personal information. Take time to shred or otherwise destroy any sensitive documents you no longer intend to keep in your personal files. And finally, make sure you are reviewing your credit card statements and credit report on a regular basis so you’re able to recognize fraudulent charges as soon as they appear.

How Do You Know You’ve Been a Victim of Tax Identity Theft?

Tax identity theft isn’t going to appear on your credit report or credit card statements as other fraudulent activity would.

The most obvious indication you’ve been a victim of tax identity theft is not being able to file your tax return because one has already been filed in your name. If you receive notification that you already filed a return and you did not, you need to take the appropriate action to notify the IRS and to file your actual return. Not filing a legitimate return can result in expensive penalties and fees.

Another indication that tax identity theft has occurred is if you receive notification of wages from an employer for whom you never worked.

If you’d like to learn more about tax identity theft, check out this information from the IRS.

One of the most devastating ways a person can learn about tax identity theft is because they face unwarranted IRS collection action against them. If you receive notice that the IRS is attempting to collect taxes from a year in which you did not file a return, there is a good chance you were a victim of tax identity theft. And while it might be tempting to ignore the notices from the IRS because they don’t seem legit, doing so can get you into trouble.

If you are being pursued by the IRS for a tax debt you believe is fraudulent or you’re facing other financial issues because of tax identity theft, we might be able to help. Contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at (813) 254-5696 for more information.

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

3 Reasons Why Bankruptcy Cases Get Dismissed and What This Means for You

Bankruptcy Case Dismissed There are two possible outcomes for those filing for bankruptcy. It doesn’t matter if you qualify for...
Read More

Who Files for Bankruptcy?

Should I File for Bankruptcy? If you’re considering bankruptcy and you feel as if you’re the only person in the...
Read More

3 Reasons Your Student Loan Debt is Ruining Your Financial Future and How Bankruptcy Might Help

Student Loan Debt Taking out a loan or multiple loans to attend college is nothing new. Students have been using...
Read More

What Happens If You Miss Your 341 Meeting?

341 Meetings are One of the Most Important Obligations in Bankruptcy There are several requirements you must meet when you...
Read More

3 Things to Help You with Post Bankruptcy Credit Repair

Bankruptcy Credit Repair One of the biggest challenges you’ll have post-bankruptcy is getting credit extended to you. But for most...
Read More

What is the Real Reason People are Filing for Bankruptcy?

Can filing for bankruptcy help you with unpaid medical bills? One of the most common misconceptions about bankruptcy is that...
Read More

What You Need to Know about Bankruptcy Court

Bankruptcy Court Bankruptcy is a process that many people find intimidating. In part, this is because they must turn their...
Read More

What to Expect from Bankruptcy Counseling

Bankruptcy Counseling Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision. For many, it’s their only option for getting the debt...
Read More

Why Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney is Worth the $ [Infographic]

Everyone who files for bankruptcy must complete a bankruptcy petition. It can be up to 40 pages and filled with...
Read More

What Really Happens When You Declare Bankruptcy?

How to Declare Bankruptcy Bankruptcy is a last resort for many who file. After attempting to clean up a messy...
Read More

Contact Us

Search Website

Archive

Request a FREE Consultation

For The Next 5 Days Get A Free Book About Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Book

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for
bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay OnlineBankruptcy Courses

National Association Of Consumer Advocates Logocomodoavvo1avvo2avvo3LEA
BBB LogoRG Seal

Tampa Office

$Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405


Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyers Map

St. Petersburg Office

$Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G

St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939


Map and Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320





Maps & Directions

At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater,     St. Petersburg, Tampa, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.