1. The IRS never initiates correspondence via email. Do not click on any links, open or respond to any email that claims to be from the IRS,
2. Install and maintain a powerful security suite and firewall software system,
3. Freeze your credit with all 3 national credit bureaus to stop new loans from being opened in your name:
a. Equifax:800-349-9960 or www.freeze.equifax.com
b. Experian 888-397-3742 or www.experian.com/freeze
c. Trans Union 888-909-8872 or www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
4. Freeze your credit with the utility and cell phone data exchange (often overlooked and not included with normal credit freezes) at 866-349-5355
5. Review your credit report annually. It is available annually for free at www.annualcreditreport.com or 877-322-8228
6. Do not give anyone your social security number under almost any circumstances,
7. Destroy (shred) any old checks reflecting your social security number,
8. Buy and use a quality cross-cut home shredder to shred all personally identifiable documents at all times,
9. Establish an annual policy as follows: photocopy all credit cards front and back and place dated copies in a safe or lockbox, establish all website logins and save in a secure manner; change all passwords every year over the holidays and record in a secure manner,
10. Secure all electronic files and paper files from intruders, children and outsiders,
11. Carefully guard against filling out any online forms and do not open accounts with anyone requiring social security numbers online,
12. File returns as soon as possible for decedents, young children and other highly subject taxpayers.
13. Obtain a Social Security PIN by visiting your local Social Security office with 2 forms of ID and a utility bill showing your name or address to keep thieves from filing a fraudulent Social Security account in your name (not stopped by normal credit freezes)
Step 1: Call the IRS e-file help desk at 866-255-0654 to confirm rejection and how to proceed.
Step 2: The taxpayer or professional should immediately contact the IRS at the Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 1-800-908-4490. You will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039. Taxpayers caught in this mess are forced to prove their identity to the IRS. Most taxpayers said they had to provide evidence to show the IRS that they are who they say they are. Some cases have taken up to 18 months to resolve.
• Mail Form 14039 to the IRS with a copy of the Social Security card and driver’s license. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you can substitute a U.S. Passport, military ID or other government-issued identification card.
• If you received an IRS notice concerning the fraudulent return, include a copy of the notice. Mail the form and documents to the address shown in your notice.
If you did not receive an IRS notice, mail the documents to:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 9039
Andover, MA 01810-0939
Step 3: File the correct return via regular mail to the previous address in Andover.
• Include Form 8948 and check Box 4 to indicate it was a non-resolvable e-file rejection, with code.
• Attach Form 14039 Identity theft affidavit and have it signed by the taxpayer(s).
• Do equivalent steps for required state filings
• The IRS should provide the taxpayer with an identity protection personal identification number, or PIN, that must be used for all future e-filing.
Step 4: File an identity theft report with local police and get copies to file with insurance companies,
Step 5: File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov or the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338 or TTY 1-866-653-4261.
Step 6: Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records:
a. Equifax, www.Equifax.com , 1-800-766-0008
b. Experian, www.Experian.com , 1-888-397-3742
c. TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com , 1-800-680-7289
Step 7: Contact your financial institutions, and close any accounts opened without your permission or tampered with.
Step 8: Check your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually. You can create an account online at www.ssa.gov.