Feb 10, 2008

Identity Theft and your taxes- Part 1 of 4

Identity theft is the #1 fraud concern in the United States today. Identity theft can cause a myriad of problems that show up immediately- bank accounts emptied, checks returned non-sufficient funds, illegitimate credit card charges, credit report problems, and many others. However, one item that may not show up for years, but last for years, is identity theft and your taxes.

Each year, all of your Forms W-2, 1099, and other tax documents are accumulated by the IRS under your social security number. What happens if someone acquires and uses your social security number and starts filing taxes or, even worse, reporting it as their social security number to employers or contractors?: tax problems for years.

Most of the IRS answers to this problem are in the form of prevention, not resolution. In fact, they report that your tax problem is the longest lasting problem in identity theft. The “ounce of prevention” cliché does not help when the problem is there.

This is a four part series that will discuss the details of identity theft and your taxes. If at any time you believe this to be a problem for you, please consult a tax professional that knows how to deal with this problem through the IRS.

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