The IRS alerts taxpayers of suspected identity theft by letter


Scammers sometimes use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns and collect refunds.

To prevent this, the IRS scans every tax return for signs of fraud.

If the system finds a suspicious tax return, the IRS reviews the return and sends a letter to the taxpayer letting them know about the potential ID theft. The IRS won’t process the suspicious tax return until the taxpayer responds to the IRS letter.

The IRS may send the following identify fraud letters to taxpayers, with instructions to to call the IRS to verify their identity and tax return information, of if the taxpayer didn’t file a return:

Taxpayers should follow those steps in the identity theft letter to resolve the matter with the IRS.

If taxpayers need to advise the IRS that they’ are an identity theft victim, or that they think they may be a victim, they can file Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. If a taxpayer has already received an IRS letter about identity theft, they don’t need to file an affidavit.

If the taxpayer received an IRS identity theft letter, they don’t need to file an identity theft affidavit

Victims of identity theft can find more resources on reporting and recovering from ID theft with the Federal Trade Commission:

More information:

IRS Identity Theft Central
How IRS ID Theft Victim Assistance works