Let’s Talk Taxes Special Edition: Let’s Talk About Identity Theft

Tax Specialist and Columnist Vicki Smith EA

Identity theft is the collection of personal information for dishonest purposes. This information includes: Your name, address, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, medical information, and children’s information. Thieves obtain the information in a variety of ways including: discarded bills, discarded tax returns, family members, hackers, phishing emails, unsecure computers, viruses, medical professionals, schools, and dumpster diving.

How is this relevant to you? The IRS collects thousands of early tax returns submitted by crooks that collected your Social Security information and want your refund. Often a person does not know she has been a victim until he or she properly files his or her return weeks or months later. Seldom is anyone caught. The IRS only has about 3000 specialty personnel that work on these cases and the average wait time is 6-8 months to resolve the issue.

 Are you a victim? You will need to file your return by paper with all supporting documents, complete the Identity Theft Affidavit (Form 14039), pay your taxes, file a police report, file an FTC complaint, and report this identity theft to one of the three major credit bureaus.

 Don’t become a victim! Secure your Social Security number, don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information by phone, email, or online, collect mail promptly, enable security features on mobile devices, shred receipts, credit offers, account statements, expired credit cards, store personal information in a safe place, and review your credit report yearly.

 If you are not sure how long to keep your documents, contact our office and we will be happy to send you a copy of “Record Retention Requirements.” Contact us by phone at 256.320.5559 or email at NSmith@SmithsTaxSolutions.com.

 At Smith’s Tax Solutions, we partner with Secure Shredding to ensure that your personal information is secured and properly shredded! They will be happy to assist you with your document shredding needs. Call them at 256.762.2987.

 “Let’s Talk Taxes” is brought to you by:

Smith’s Tax Solutions

2415-B Rosedale St

Muscle Shoals, AL 35661


“Your Tax Debt Relief Headquarters”

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