Tax-Related Identity Theft
TAX-RELATED IDENTITY THEFT
It is the policy of the Maplewood Police Department to prepare an “Identity Theft” report for all city residents who communicate that their identity has been stolen or used to fraudulently obtain funds, products or services regardless of the suspected location of the theft.
This policy takes into consideration the multi-jurisdictional nature of the crime of identity theft. The police department’s ultimate responsibility is to provide the best law enforcement services possible to our community. It urges residents to use the proper precautions and safeguards to protect their identifying information such as credit card numbers, social security number or driver license number that can be used to commit financial or other crimes.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has experienced an increase in the amount of tax-related identity theft offenses over the past few years. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security Number (SSN) to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. If you become a victim, the IRS is committed to resolving your case as quickly as possible.
The Maplewood Police Department recorded 42 tax-related identity theft reports during 2015. The 2016 tax filing season is fast approaching. The IRS and police department expects this type of identity theft crime to increase during the 2016 filing season.
In tax-related identity theft, the criminal generally will use a stolen SSN to file a forged tax return and attempt to get a fraudulent refund early in the filing season. You may be unaware that this has happened until you file your return later in the filing season and discover two returns have been filed using the same SSN.
Be alert to possible identity theft if you receive an IRS notice or letter that states:
• More than one tax return was filed for you,
• You owe additional tax, have a refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return, or
• IRS records indicate you received wages from an employer unknown to you.
File a report with the Maplewood Police Department If you become a victim of tax-related identity theft. The reporting officer will provide you with an Identity Theft Affidavit (IRS Form-14039). You should complete and submit the affidavit to the IRS per the instructions on the form. The officer will also give you an IRS Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers bulletin containing important information and steps to follow if you are victimized. Go to the IRS 14039 Form on the IRS.gov Web page.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation. The first step to prevent identity theft is awareness of how and when you use your personal information. By keeping close tabs on your personal information, you can reduce your chances of becoming an identity theft victim.