Nowadays, identity thefts and other related fraudulent actions in the United States can easily be called a pressing issue. Before 2020, the number of such cases was about 500,000 annually. However, in 2020, the total number increased dramatically and became almost 1,400,000.
There might be different reasons for such a bounce, and the most obvious is a coronavirus, of course. People face a lack of income and financial troubles, so fraudulent cases come instead of honest work. Tax returns submission is no exception in this sense: one day, you may be notified about your data misuse for taxation aims. We will not go deep into the mechanisms of fraud or reasons to commit it; in this review, we will explain what to do if something like this occurs in your life.
So, the US Internal Revenue Service (or IRS), responsible for tax extract in the county, has designed a specific template one can use if they suspect their identity has been stolen: the IRS Form 14039. As you may understand, not everybody faces this challenge, so the record is not mandatory and should be used only in certain scenarios. Basically, the Service recommends submitting it only in two cases:
It is most likely to happen when somebody uses your SSN (social security number) to send a fake return before you do. Then, the Service recognizes that SSN has already been used and declines your papers.
This is another common case: you can receive a warning from the Service saying you are in trouble. Normally, in such notifications, you will be asked to create and send Form 14039.
Of course, if you have grounds to believe that you have lost your tax identity and someone is misusing it, you can also submit the document. The Service will then try to check and investigate your case. All in all, such fraud leads to huge financial losses for the American government, so reacting to such claims is in the IRS’s interest.
Situations that involve identity stealing are usually stressful, so people who face such problems often prefer to ask others to complete and submit the form for them. It can be either a hired professional or a relative, spouse, family member (in both cases, the person should have a signed power of attorney form proving that they can be capable of such actions).
Regardless of who will create and send the document for you, our guidance might be useful. It explains how to complete the template and file it correctly in 2021. Check it out below.
If you encounter tax fraud like this, document completion and sending are compulsory. And if you need to create the document, you have to find the proper template first. It can be found either on the Service’s site or here. We offer convenient form-building software that will generate the IRS Form 14039 for you quickly.
1. Identify Yourself
In the first section, you will indicate who you are in this case and define which form’s part you must complete. You have four options here:
If this is the suitable answer, your sections to complete are B, C, and D.
Besides mandatory sections B, C, and D, you should complete Section E.
The same applies in this case: you must fill out sections B, C, D, and E.
You should write the notice’s or letter’s number in the designated line on the right. You will then check Box 1 in Section B. The template’s instructions ask such claimers to check the Service’s guide on the form completion. You still should complete sections B, C, and D because they are obligatory for every claimer.
2. Complete Section B
You will specify the reason why you are filing the document in this section. Choose among two options (either someone provided your personal details for taxes filing or you are an identity theft victim). If you pick the second option, explain how that happened by adding details to the lines below.
3. Provide the Victim’s Information
You should add the victim’s (or yours) info, so the Service understands who is claiming. Write the last name, first name, and middle initial. Insert the taxpayer identification number: the template requires providing SSN (social security number, nine digits).
Further, enter the mailing address the victim currently uses. If this form is created for a deceased, insert the last known address. Write the city, state, and postal code below.
List the years when identity thefts occurred. You might not know the years particularly; enter the word “unknown” then. Indicate the last year when the victim submitted their tax return. If the return contained another address or names, place the previously used names or address (with the city, state, and postal code) in the designated fields.
Enter the victim’s domicile and mobile phone numbers. If the person for who you file the form is dead, write “deceased.” If not, outline the best time to call on the right, near your phone numbers.
Lastly, you can choose in what language the victim wants to communicate with public authorities: either English or Spanish. Mark the option the victim prefers.
4. Sign and Date the Form
This is another mandatory section that all claimants should complete. Here, you will sign and date the form, proving that you have given the truthful information. If something is incorrect or untrue, you may face various sanctions, as it usually happens if someone lies in their legal forms.
Place your signature on the left and the current date on the right.
5. Fill Out Section E (If Applicable)
As we have told above, not everyone needs the following section, and you should complete it only if you represent someone who faced theft by completing this form. Mark one of the five boxes you see below. They describe your relations with the person for who you are completing the form.
The first three boxes are used if the person is deceased, and you are either their spouse or legal representative. In all cases, you shall provide the death certificate alongside this form. If you are the person’s legal representative who was not chosen by the court, define your relationship to the decedent (whether you are a parent, a child, or someone else: specify).
Box 4 is used if the person is incapable of creating this record by themselves. You have to obey the Service requirements listed under the box description and write your Centralized Authorization File (or CAF) number if you have any.
You should pick Box 5 if the form is completed on behalf of your dependent kid or another family member. Check the box below describing your relationship. Write your full name, mailing address, and phone number.
When the document is ready, you have to submit it as soon as you can to the Service. These forms are accepted only via regular mail or fax. Every signatory must check the instructions included in the form because the sending method you should choose depends on your case.
For instance, if the Service sends you a letter asking to submit the form and you see a fax number in this letter. Then, it is highly likely you will have to deliver your documents via fax. Anyway, we insist that you check the filing instructions inside the template to complete the submission procedure properly.
If you have any doubts about filing, the Service’s personnel is always ready to help, and you can contact them by calling (use phone numbers offered on their website).
Unfortunately, today online scams and phishing sites are blooming, and due to COVID-19, the situation has gotten even worse than before. You should always remember that your data protection is the highest priority.
Do not trust random people on the internet who offer dubious discounts or offerings (especially those suggesting you complete your tax documents without paying anything). Do not visit websites you consider unreliable. Be careful with each step you take online, and you will be able to mitigate the risks of fraud. We hope you will never face tax frauds, but if you do, now you know what you have to do to fix it.