Identity theft occurs when a piece of your personal information is stolen and used to commit fraud. If your data is accessed, it could be used to open new accounts, make unauthorized purchases, or file taxes for a fraudulent refund. The IRS may reach out to you via mail should there be any suspicious activity related to your Social Security Number. A few other instances may lead you to believe that your identity was compromised. If you attempt to file your taxes and encounter an error that you have already made, you should contact the IRS right away.
In most cases, you will receive some mail notification from the IRS with information that you did not request. This communication is a good indication of identity theft. If it is confirmed that your identity has been compromised, no matter the cause, the IRS recommends IDentityTheft.gov to report the information and work to get your identity back. As tax professionals, if the information breach occurs on our end, we will work with you to ensure your data is retrieved and safe. To protect yourself from tax-related identity theft, ensure that you are using secure methods of communication to file your taxes. Protect your personal information at all times, do not give out your Social Security Number unless necessary.