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Tax Identity Theft: What’s Happening And What You Can Do About It

By Sidney Kess
New York Law Journal
January 5, 2023

Tax identity theft occurs when thieves acquire a taxpayer’s identity to obtain a bogus tax refund or shift tax liability to an innocent taxpayer. The real taxpayer may be unable to e-file a legitimate tax return for the year because a return has already been filed under the taxpayer’s Social Security number or employer identification number (EIN). Even worse for an individual, a thief may use a taxpayer’s personal information to get a job and the thief’s employer reports the income. The taxpayer who is unaware of the income omits it from his/her return and then receives a bill from the IRS for unpaid taxes. National Tax Security Awareness Week (the Week), which ran from Nov. 28 (Cyber Monday) through Dec. 2, 2022, featured a lot of information and strategies to handle tax identity theft. While the focus of this year’s event was on protection during the holiday and tax seasons, the lessons are helpful year-round.

About Tax Identity Theft

In 2015, the IRS joined with state tax administrators, tax software companies, and the tax professional community to form a Security Summit partnership. The purpose: raise awareness about tax identity theft.


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