Thursday, September 17, 2015

Identity Theft: Know the Steps if You are a Victim

Cathy A. Robinson, CPA
Senior Manager
Are you prepared to receive a notification informing you that the IRS has already received a tax return from you? With another individual tax filing deadline approaching knowing the risks of identity theft is important. It is also just as important to begin taking the steps to protect your identity.

But what happens when you find you’re a victim just before the deadline? 


          If you are a victim, there are several steps you will need to take. They are:


1.      File a police report.

2.      File a Federal Trade Commission complaint at

3.      Contact one of the three credit bureaus:  Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

4.      Check to see if any accounts were opened with your financial institutions.

5.      Close any accounts that have been opened.

6.      Respond to any IRS notice immediately.  However, the IRS will not contact you by phone or email. 

7.    Complete the IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. 

8.     File your return by paper and pay the related taxes due.

9.    Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490.


The IRS issues the Identity Protection Pin (IP Pin), which is a 6 digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers.  This number must be used to confirm your identity.

You will receive a new IP Pin each December via regular mail. 


Having your identity stolen can be a scary and frustrating ordeal. As with any tax issue, it’s important to remember you can contact your accounting professional with questions and concerns about the risks to your finances.

This update is published periodically by HW&Co. as an information service to our clients, business associates and friends. It is general information and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any comments contained in this document.