Tax Identity Theft

Tax Identity Theft

Identity theft is more common than you think, especially during tax season when many are filing their taxes through online programs.  A recent Harris Poll found that nearly 60 million Americans were affected by tax identity theft last year and it has been on a continued rise for the past 10 years.

Tax season is a prime time for criminals to take advantage of the millions of people entering their personal information online.  Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job.  Unfortunately, you might not find out about it until you’re ready to file and find that your return has already been filed or the IRS notifies you that you have unclaimed wages from an employer you never worked for.

Anyone can be a victim of tax identity theft.  It’s important to become aware of steps you can take to reduce your risk of becoming a victim.  Read more below:


Be Cautious with Email

This is where hackers will turn to capture your personal information.  Do not click on links or download attachments from any emails claiming to be the IRS.  The IRS will never request personal information through an unsolicited email.  Got any emails claiming they can offer a faster and larger refund if you file with them? Those emails are not true.  Average refund times are the same no matter where you file, three weeks when filing online and six weeks for mailed returns.


Use Strong Passwords

Make sure to use and create strong passwords for every account you create, especially if filing your taxes online.  This can be done by using different combinations of numbers, letters, symbols, and a mixture of upper and lowercase letters.  Following those simple guidelines will make it harder for hackers to get your passwords and getting their hands on your information.


Know the Warning Signs

When filling out your tax returns or any other information, make sure to look over all entered information carefully, making sure everything is correct.  If something doesn’t match up, you might have been subject to identity theft.  Always keep track of your social security number using free services or by retrieving your free yearly credit report.  Also make sure to look over medical files, insurance claims, and other statements for signs of fraud.


Report It 

First, respond immediately to any IRS notice you receive. Then, be sure to do the following:

  • Fill out the 5071C form the IRS may include with your suspicious or fraudulent return rejection
  • Download and complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit to notify the IRS of the identity
  • Add an Identity Protection PIN to your SSN
  • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at or call their hotline at: 1-877-438-4338 or TTY 1-866-643-4261
  • Contact your state tax agency in the event your state has specific identity theft protocols


How to Gain Protection from Tax Identity Theft

The best way to mitigate risk from tax identity theft is to secure  identity theft coverage. This coverage will help you handle the costs associated and give you the support systems needed to stabilized after this theft occurs. 

We are here for you for all of your insurance needs. 

To find the best way to mitigate identity theft, contact one of our talented Risk Advisors today!



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