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I didn't see an issue with similar topic based on keywords i searched with.

I e-filed the return with TaxAct.com and yesterday i found out that it was rejected by IRS due to code 515.

Exact message from TaxAct:
Federal Return Status: Rejected

Federal Return Rejection Information:
This Federal Return was rejected by the Internal Revenue Service on 4/19/2011. This Return was rejected due to the Error Code(s) shown below.

Form/Schedule: Form 1040 - U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
Form Copy: 1
Error Code: 515
Error Code Explanation:
The Social Security Number for the primary taxpayer on this return has already been used on a return filed with the IRS for the current year.

I called IRS today and the representative after verifying few details told me it might be due to an Identity theft.
I was advised to
1) Report to 3 Credit Bureaus and he gave me the 3 #s to call.

2) Report to Federal Trade Commission

3) Report to Social Security Administration

4) Report to Police with copy of reports of above.
He said police simply will not accept a complaint without above proof.

5) Read IRS pub 4535 from IRS.gov on Identity Theft Prevention & Victim Assistance

6) File Paper Return with
- Letter of explanation
- Proof of rejection message from TaxAct
- Social Security Card copy
- Write "Original Copy of Return" on top right corner of 1040
and Mail to:
Dept of Treasury - IRS
Fresno, CA 93888-0002

Questions:
1) I do not see any dip on credit scores on DCU nor see any un-authorized charges, so it doesn't look like Identity Theft, though i can't be 100% sure of it.
Do you think this could be a typo on someone else's return?

2) I am expecting a Refund, so am not too worried about late fees/penalties, etc.
But am expecting IRS to take its own sweet time to refund now.

3) What else could i do to find out "Who filed" and request a copy of the "Other return IRS thinks it has".
Can i file a freedom of Info act request with IRS to give me the other return?
Then get those details and go after who-ever did it?

4) This is simply a nasty mess i am into, what steps do i take in future?
I have not lost any cards/wallets and shred the letters/expired cards, etc.

Thank you.

Member Summary
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The problem with the refund fraud is compounded by the 45 day processing window when the IRS gets the return. If the re... (more)

fedguy (Apr. 21, 2011 @ 7:29p) |

I'm pretty sure this is what happened.

fasttimes (Apr. 21, 2011 @ 7:56p) |

Usorry (Apr. 22, 2011 @ 10:06a) |

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Did you owe anything?
Maybe they paid it for you......

woowoo2 said:   Did you owe anything?
Maybe they paid it for you......


Wish it was true. Am expecting a refund.

Maybe they claimed your refund.

There is a way to get the IRS to send you a copy of your return as filed.

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=110571,00.html

Perhaps use that to see what was filed? Maybe your software went a bit nuts and filed twice?

bombcar said:   There is a way to get the IRS to send you a copy of your return as filed.

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=110571,00.html

Perhaps use that to see what was filed? Maybe your software went a bit nuts and filed twice?


I don't see a reason a identity thief would file an IRS return.

I would be happy if it was a software error or may be a typo by some intern at H&R Block.

This would then only serve for peace of mind.

DealsBrokeMe said:   bombcar said:   There is a way to get the IRS to send you a copy of your return as filed.

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=110571,00.html

Perhaps use that to see what was filed? Maybe your software went a bit nuts and filed twice?


I don't see a reason a identity thief would file an IRS return.

I would be happy if it was a software error or may be a typo by some intern at H&R Block.

This would then only serve for peace of mind.
Simple. If someone has enough information, they can get all the tax you paid refunded to them.


pthor1231 said:   Check out http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1090159/ for some more info.

Thanks.

DealsBrokeMe said:   I don't see a reason a identity thief would file an IRS return.
The Chicago Tribune ran a front page article on it last year - you might be able to search for it in their archives.

Basically, identity thieves do it to collect the refund. They somehow steal copies of W-2 forms (intercept mail, database breach, whatever) and find the ones where the withholding looks high compared to the income. Then they file fake returns with their own ACH information. The article didn't mention them also opening up credit accounts or the like - they just focus on getting the refunds and then they do something else until the next year. (Although it wouldn't surprise me if they sell the stolen SSNs to other criminals for later use.)

Edit: Note that even if your real refund wasn't large, a thief could probably file a fictitious return that inflated the refund substantially by overstating deductions and credits. If you only care about passing the IRS's initial screen, and not about being able to avoid or pass an audit, all sorts of opportunities open up.

For several years there was some business in another state whose taxpayer ID was the same number as my social security number. This came up every time I opened a bank account, along with puzzled looks and "this shouldn't be possible". It didn't end until the company apparently went out of business and defaulted on money owed to my bank, which promptly deducted some money from my checking account to pay the debt. (Wasn't too happy about that.)

This probably isn't what's happening in your case, but I thought I'd throw out there just in case.

1) A typo is a possibility. The last name is also used to tie a return with an account. The other person would have had to have known your last name.

2) The refund will, in all likelihood, be delayed depending on the outcome from the investigation.

3) File Form 4506-T to get a transcript (summary) copy of a tax return.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf

If you want an actual photocopy of the return, it will cost you $57.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506.pdf

The above is for a paper filed return. If the fraud was perpetrated by electronic means, it will be harder to track the originator since there is no paper trail. I don't file electronically, but I believe that there is some kind of PIN used and that you have to know what the tax balance was for last year's return in order for the electronic return to be accepted. I am sure there are ways to circumvent this return identification process (especially if the electronic return initiator has access to your personal information).

4) Don't divulge your SSN or personal identifiable information to anyone unless you initiated the contact. There were reports of people having used tax prep firms and then having bogus returns filed in subsequent years as the workers in that firm used the return information to generate bogus refund transactions. A lot of the EIC refund fraud is done by so-called tax preparers who harvest SSNs from unwary taxpayers to collect on bogus refunds.

If you have a Citibank credit card, you can use the Citi Identity Theft Solutions service.

https://www.citicards.com/cards/wv/pdf/worksheet.pdf

Quick, call SSN and retire, with your work and the other persons work you might have enough credits to retire.
Tell the IRS its their fault, you want to file your tax return, its your right, so sue them in court. Seriously, think why should I work my whole life , when I can just go to SSN use some old fellas number (who is still working) and retire on his dime.
I'm no help, I can see that!

I think people are missing an important point: if this is identity theft, the theif doesn't need to file for the op's refund. he can, instead, file (as the op) for a homeowner credit, education credit, witholdings from a dozen imaginary jobs, EIC, and a dozen other items. The theif doesn't have to be accurate enough to avoid an audit, just accurate enough to get the check in hand.

DealsBrokeMe said:   I would be happy if it was a software error or may be a typo by some intern at H&R Block.

This would then only serve for peace of mind.


I'm not defending H&R Block in any way, but I used to work for them in 2007. The locations in my area had a rule that customers had to show proof of SSN. An original Soc Sec card was required. Plus a valid proof of identification, such as driver's license, state-issued ID, or US passport. My wife and I worked at two different stores in the same area and we had the same rules. I don't know if the rules for identification proof have changed, but in those cases where someone's return was rejected, the first question asked always was if the person was a claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. Just my 2 cents.

BarryAndLevon said:   For several years there was some business in another state whose taxpayer ID was the same number as my social security number. This came up every time I opened a bank account, along with puzzled looks and "this shouldn't be possible". It didn't end until the company apparently went out of business and defaulted on money owed to my bank, which promptly deducted some money from my checking account to pay the debt. (Wasn't too happy about that.)

This probably isn't what's happening in your case, but I thought I'd throw out there just in case.


Thanks BarryAndLevon for that thought.

When i spoke with IRS agent, he did verify that the other return was individual with most of the info (that he asked me to verify) the same, which suggest potentially, I don't have another business issue.

kenyanboy said:   DealsBrokeMe said:   I would be happy if it was a software error or may be a typo by some intern at H&R Block.

This would then only serve for peace of mind.


I'm not defending H&R Block in any way, but I used to work for them in 2007. The locations in my area had a rule that customers had to show proof of SSN. An original Soc Sec card was required. Plus a valid proof of identification, such as driver's license, state-issued ID, or US passport. My wife and I worked at two different stores in the same area and we had the same rules. I don't know if the rules for identification proof have changed, but in those cases where someone's return was rejected, the first question asked always was if the person was a claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. Just my 2 cents.


In NW Indiana, the H&R Block employees themselves were the ones committing the identity fraud since they had all their victims' info from the year before.

DealsBrokeMe said:   I didn't see an issue with similar topic based on keywords i searched with.

I e-filed the return with TaxAct.com and yesterday i found out that it was rejected by IRS due to code 515.

Exact message from TaxAct:
Federal Return Status: Rejected

Federal Return Rejection Information:
This Federal Return was rejected by the Internal Revenue Service on 4/19/2011. This Return was rejected due to the Error Code(s) shown below.

Form/Schedule: Form 1040 - U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
Form Copy: 1
Error Code: 515
Error Code Explanation:
The Social Security Number for the primary taxpayer on this return has already been used on a return filed with the IRS for the current year.

I called IRS today and the representative after verifying few details told me it might be due to an Identity theft.
I was advised to
1) Report to 3 Credit Bureaus and he gave me the 3 #s to call.

2) Report to Federal Trade Commission

3) Report to Social Security Administration

4) Report to Police with copy of reports of above.
He said police simply will not accept a complaint without above proof.

5) Read IRS pub 4535 from IRS.gov on Identity Theft Prevention & Victim Assistance

6) File Paper Return with
- Letter of explanation
- Proof of rejection message from TaxAct
- Social Security Card copy
- Write "Original Copy of Return" on top right corner of 1040
and Mail to:
Dept of Treasury - IRS
Fresno, CA 93888-0002

Questions:
1) I do not see any dip on credit scores on DCU nor see any un-authorized charges, so it doesn't look like Identity Theft, though i can't be 100% sure of it.
Do you think this could be a typo on someone else's return?

2) I am expecting a Refund, so am not too worried about late fees/penalties, etc.
But am expecting IRS to take its own sweet time to refund now.

3) What else could i do to find out "Who filed" and request a copy of the "Other return IRS thinks it has".
Can i file a freedom of Info act request with IRS to give me the other return?
Then get those details and go after who-ever did it?

4) This is simply a nasty mess i am into, what steps do i take in future?
I have not lost any cards/wallets and shred the letters/expired cards, etc.

Thank you.



Please keep us posted. It seems identity theft is being taken to a more nefarious level.
The victim now has to deal with the IRS, which is our version of the Gestapo. I wish you luck OP.

So, when you check with the 'IRS Where's My Refund?', what does it tell you? Did they actually send a refund check to someone?

https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp

fedguy said:   1) A typo is a possibility. The last name is also used to tie a return with an account. The other person would have had to have known your last name.

2) The refund will, in all likelihood, be delayed depending on the outcome from the investigation.

3) File Form 4506-T to get a transcript (summary) copy of a tax return.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf

If you want an actual photocopy of the return, it will cost you $57.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506.pdf

The above is for a paper filed return. If the fraud was perpetrated by electronic means, it will be harder to track the originator since there is no paper trail. I don't file electronically, but I believe that there is some kind of PIN used and that you have to know what the tax balance was for last year's return in order for the electronic return to be accepted. I am sure there are ways to circumvent this return identification process (especially if the electronic return initiator has access to your personal information).

4) Don't divulge your SSN or personal identifiable information to anyone unless you initiated the contact. There were reports of people having used tax prep firms and then having bogus returns filed in subsequent years as the workers in that firm used the return information to generate bogus refund transactions. A lot of the EIC refund fraud is done by so-called tax preparers who harvest SSNs from unwary taxpayers to collect on bogus refunds.

If you have a Citibank credit card, you can use the Citi Identity Theft Solutions service.

https://www.citicards.com/cards/wv/pdf/worksheet.pdf

Thans fedguy.

I did file a 4506-T to get a copy of the "other return".
However when i spoke with a rep at "Taxpayer Advocate Services TAS", they said if it is an identity theft issue, they will not send you a copy of the other return or atleast they are not supposed to.

Will see how that goes.

kenyanboy said:   DealsBrokeMe said:   I would be happy if it was a software error or may be a typo by some intern at H&R Block.

This would then only serve for peace of mind.


I'm not defending H&R Block in any way, but I used to work for them in 2007. The locations in my area had a rule that customers had to show proof of SSN. An original Soc Sec card was required. Plus a valid proof of identification, such as driver's license, state-issued ID, or US passport. My wife and I worked at two different stores in the same area and we had the same rules. I don't know if the rules for identification proof have changed, but in those cases where someone's return was rejected, the first question asked always was if the person was a claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. Just my 2 cents.


I do understand the proof of SSN as a requirement.
However the preparer could do it as a typo. I believe they are running against time and more they process, more commission they make. I am not saying all would do that way, but what would temps/interns care?

whodini said:   

Please keep us posted. It seems identity theft is being taken to a more nefarious level.
The victim now has to deal with the IRS, which is our version of the Gestapo. I wish you luck OP.


Thanks.

harlock001 said:   So, when you check with the 'IRS Where's My Refund?', what does it tell you? Did they actually send a refund check to someone?

https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp


It fails, because my refund amount may be different from the thief's and i don't know what s/he had.
Looks like they have put in another validation that prevents us from checking the status!

The right validations are probably not working:
a) Verify W2 amounts with what is reported by Employers
b) Verify all dependents name/ssn/dob match from previous returns or via SSN office
c) Verify ACH info or check address to match the first SSN on 1040.
d) Verify the address reported on 1040 with what other agencies report.

I think c) is the most critical and will prevent refunds from going out if the Bank account doesn't match the first SSN or if the Refund check mailing address doesn't match.

d) Address check: I had moved in November and thief may not have had the exact new address.
However when i got my first W2 from previous employer's Intuit's site, they had the correct address even though i did not provide them.
May be they got via USPS Change of Address notification or some other means (Vehicle plate was renewed recently).

I didn't see anyone mention that is costs $70 to get a copy of your return from the IRS but it is available. I had to do it this year because I lost mine in a move and didn't have any of my info from last year. Cheers.

soundtechie said:   I think people are missing an important point: if this is identity theft, the theif doesn't need to file for the op's refund. he can, instead, file (as the op) for a homeowner credit, education credit, witholdings from a dozen imaginary jobs, EIC, and a dozen other items. The theif doesn't have to be accurate enough to avoid an audit, just accurate enough to get the check in hand.

The problem with the refund fraud is compounded by the 45 day processing window when the IRS gets the return. If the refund is not paid by 45 days, interest gets added to the amount. What should really happen is that there should be a built-in time lag between return receipt and refund release (like around 3 to 6 months) for all of the documentation to be verified before the money goes out the door. A lot of the income matching and verification doesn't get done until many months after you filed and by that time, a fraud incident would be difficult to backtrack and retrieve back the money.

At this point, you don't know if this was an inadvertant typo that hasn't been corrected and which blocked you from filing or if it was a genuine attempt in filing a fraudulent return. Without the 4506-T transcript, you cannot see the other return information that was filed earlier. Hopefully, they will provide you a copy because it has the all of the money figures and name/address provided by the filer.

bombcar said:   

Perhaps use that to see what was filed? Maybe your software went a bit nuts and filed twice?


I'm pretty sure this is what happened.




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