How to Check if Someone Else Filed My Taxes
Tax-related identity theft can happen to anyone. Armed with the right information, someone could file taxes under your name and steal your refund. If you feel this could happen to you, there are ways to check to see if someone else filed your taxes.
This article will discuss how to check if someone else filed your taxes, what to do if it happens, and ways to protect yourself.
How to Check if Someone Else Filed My Taxes
The easiest way to check to see if someone else filed your taxes is to go to the IRS website and check your tax information. If you don’t already have an IRS.gov account, you can open one using information that is private and unique to you. You’ll need a valid email account, your Social Security number, and some other form of identification like your passport number or driver’s license number.
Once you’ve opened an account with the IRS, check your tax information to ensure that no one else has filed using your Social Security number. You can also call the IRS and inquire if they’ve received your tax return. If you haven’t filed and yet they received a tax return, then you’ll know someone else filed your taxes.
If someone else has filed your taxes, you could receive a letter from the IRS about a possibly fraudulent tax return filed in your name. You could also be notified if an online account has been opened using your personal information.
You may also find out that someone filed taxes in your name if your current tax return is rejected by the IRS. If you filed an e-return and there’s already one that has been accepted by the IRS with your Social Security number, you won’t be able to file.
How to Protect Yourself Against Tax-Related Identity Theft
There are several things you can do to protect yourself against someone else filing your taxes. Identity theft has become all too common in today’s world, but there are ways to prevent it from happening to you by following a few safety guidelines. Listed below are some of the things you can do to protect yourself.
Safeguard Your Personal Information
Keep your Social Security card and tax returns in a secure location. Tax refund thieves need your Social Security number to file taxes in your name, so safeguarding this information is of utmost importance. When it comes time to discard your older tax returns, it’s best to shred them. Any document that contains your personal information should also be shredded when it’s time to discard them.
Protect Your Personal Information Online and on the Phone
Never give your personal information to anyone who calls or emails claiming to be a representative of the IRS. This is a common technique that scammers will use to get your personal information. Please note that the IRS will never call you directly without first officially informing you by mail that they may attempt to contact you on the phone. They do this primarily if you owe them a significant amount of money. The IRS will never call you without prior notification.
If you use online tax preparation software to file your taxes, always use multi-factor authentication. This is an excellent way to protect your personal information from online thieves. By enabling multi-factor authentication, you’ll be asked for additional information before accessing your account. This information is usually a passcode or PIN that you’ve set up and will receive via text, something an identity thief wouldn’t have access to.
Use an Identity Protection PIN When Filing Your Taxes Online
If you file your taxes with the IRS using their online method, you can request an IP-PIN to gain access to your online account. An IP-PIN is a six-digit PIN that adds an additional level of security to your personal information when logging in to your IRS.gov account. It will prevent unauthorized access. You can request an IP-PIN when logging in to your IRS.gov account, or you can request one using Form 15227. Please note that this form can only be used for those whose gross annual income is below $72,000.
Those who earn above $72,000 per year can request an appointment to verify their identity in person. Contact your local IRS office to make an appointment. You’ll need to bring your government-issued ID and Social Security card with you.
What to Do if Someone Else Filed Your Taxes
There are several things you should do once you are sure or even suspect that someone else has filed taxes in your name. It’s very important that you respond quickly to ensure the safety and integrity of your tax information. The sooner you respond, the quicker you can remedy the situation.
Contact the IRS
If you received a letter from the IRS informing you that your Social Security number may have been used to file in your name, immediately call them using the number provided on the letter. If you discovered that someone may have filed your taxes because your online tax return was rejected, you should file Form 14039. This is the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit and will let the IRS know that you suspect someone else has filed taxes using your personal information.
Request a Copy of Fraudulent Returns
The information listed on this form could help you to determine how your personal information was used. To do so, request Form 4506-F. Fill it out and either mail or fax it to the IRS following all the instructions listed on the form.
Notify the Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is a valuable resource for victims of tax-related identity theft. This online resource will guide you through the recovery process. Their Identitytheft.gov website offers valuable advice about what to do if your personal information has been used to illegally file taxes in your name.
Someone else filed my taxes using my Social Security number. Should I still file?
Yes. You will still need to file your current income taxes. However, you won’t be able to do so online. You’ll need to file them by mail and pay any taxes owed. Filing your taxes online will result in them being rejected due to duplicate filings with the same Social Security number.
If someone filed my taxes, is it possible they used my personal information elsewhere as well?
If someone has your Social Security number to file taxes in your name, they could also use it in several different fraudulent ways. After notifying the IRS, you should check your credit rating to see if there has been any activity unknown to you. Identity thieves could open credit card accounts in your name.
Contact all three credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Request a credit freeze to prevent any new credit card accounts or loans taken out in your name. Freezing and unfreezing your credit report won’t affect your credit score and can be done numerous times. You can check your credit rating for free once every 12 months. There are several companies that provide this free service.
Always Protect Your Tax Information
By safeguarding your personal information, you can protect yourself from tax-related identity theft. Shred any documents you no longer need that contain your personal information. Using multi-factor authentication when filing your taxes online gives you an added layer of security. However, if you’ve been the victim of tax-related identity theft, contact the IRS immediately.
Have you had to check if someone else filed your taxes? Did you use the methods described in this article? Let us know in the comments section below.