Received IRS LTR4883C (verification of Identity). Now what?

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So yesterday, in the mail, I received a LTR4883C from the IRS.
IRS LTR 4883C said: Dear TAXPAYER

We received a federal income tax return, Form 1040, for the tax year above (2016) with your name and social security number. TO protect you from identity theft, we need to blah blah blah


I called up and verified my identity.  We had not yet (knowingly) filed.  I say knowingly because I've installed and been working with TurboTax.

After talking with the agent, she told me that the falsified 1040 contains both my and my wife's social security numbers.  We'll be getting a letter in "7 to 10 days".  Anybody around here been able to enjoy this before?

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Micha8s,

As far as the identity theft you have suffered,
some good advice about various steps you can take now to mitigat... (more)

oppidum (Mar. 15, 2017 @ 2:51a) |

OP, are you totally sure that the letter was from the IRS?
When you contacted them, did you call a phone number that yo... (more)

oppidum (Mar. 15, 2017 @ 2:52a) |

how hard would it be for congress to fund the IRS sufficiently enough to do its job, catch tax cheats, and pursue/preven... (more)

crabbing (Mar. 19, 2017 @ 9:13a) |

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Yes, due to the Federal Govt 'hack' of personnel records, someone filed my 2015 taxes. I found out only after I could not E-file in Turbo Tax on the day before taxes were due. I had to scramble and manually file via mail and include an additional form. My return was delayed for 6 months.

It seems the IRS are at least proactively letting you know.

The IRS will have exact steps for you to take - there seem to be thousands of cases like this.

Would be funny if this was a really good spearphishing attack.

I thought everyone on FW owed?

You forget the blinkin quarterly estimated payments required of many of us.

I owed too much last year.  (Merger affecting vested RSUs turned out to be taxable.  I'd been over-withholding to make sure I wasn't hit with a penalty.  Current TurboTax status is that we'll be getting about 1% of our income back for a refund

I worked for the feds for one summer back in the 80s -- before I met my wife.  It's disturbing that the fraudulant filing apparently used both of our SSNs.  (That's what the agent told us, anyway.)

My first inclination is to blame my company's 401k -- I recently dealt with them over beneficiaries, so I know they have my wife's SSN.  On the other hand, with some of the hacks going on and how unusual our last name is, it would not be difficult for somebody reviewing a hacked database to see our last name and google.

I filed IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit after my house was burglarized late 2016 and they took my past returns, etc. I called up IRS ID hotline and they said just filling it doesn't necessarily mean they will issue a ID PIN but they will be more careful when issuing refund. My E-filing was accepted so I know no one else filed using my SSN yet.

matrix5k said:   I thought everyone on FW owed?
  
Scammers aren't trying to claim legitimate refunds, they're making up numbers to claim an inflated refund.
 

doveroftke said:   
matrix5k said:   I thought everyone on FW owed?
  
Scammers aren't trying to claim legitimate refunds, they're making up numbers to claim an inflated refund.

  I think the point was, as long as someone owes, it doesn't matter if it takes the IRS 6+ months to process my return because of a previous false return.  I already have my money because I made sure I owed the government and not the other way around.

OP my brother is going through the same thing, his DW's W2 was compromised at his spouses employer.  Since the IRS sent you a letter this year, they should put you on the PIN program next year but I'd fill out 14039 just to be sure.  I did this a few years back when my data was lost during both the BC/BS Anthem and OPM Breech.  The last 3 years the IRS has mailed snail mailed a PIN for me and DW in January.

How hard would it be for the IRS to compare the income and taxes withheld on one's return to the W2's and 1099's they receive and say, "OK, not even close, no refund for you pending clarification?" Particularly if the payment account is one that has not been used for prior returns?

I would think the IRS could stomp this kind of fraud out or least dial it way down with relatively minimal effort.

Or there something I'm not taking into account here?

@micha8s, join the (growing) club. This happened to my spouse and I 2 years ago. You should immediately go to your local police department and report an identity theft. Don't worry, they will not laugh at you.) The police will give you a case number. With that case number, you can file with one of the 3 credit-reporting agencies to get a free 7-year fraud alert (different from a freeze) that covers all 3 CRAs and will greatly diminish the chances that someone will take out credit in your name.

Once your identities have been stolen, they can never be un-stolen...the information will be out there forever.

Good luck!

There are some plans including putting special reference numbers on W2s to help reduce this situation. Other than that, filing early and quickly seems to be the only other choice without a PIN.

Rasheed

DrDubious said:   How hard would it be for the IRS to compare the income and taxes withheld on one's return to the W2's and 1099's they receive and say, "OK, not even close, no refund for you pending clarification?" Particularly if the payment account is one that has not been used for prior returns?

I would think the IRS could stomp this kind of fraud out or least dial it way down with relatively minimal effort.

Or there something I'm not taking into account here?

  
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/11/tax-refund-fraud-to-hit-21-billio... 

"Here's a conspicuous flaw in the system as currently set up: To file a tax return electronically, all someone needs is a name, date of birth and an SSN. The IRS accepts tax filings as soon as Jan. 1, but employers aren't required to submit correct employment information to the agency until March, by which time roughly half of all refunds have been paid out. (For that matter, the IRS doesn't begin matching employer-submitted data to tax returns until the summer.)"


eta:

OTOH : 
https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-combats-identity-theft-and-...
"As a result of these aggressive efforts to combat identity theft from 2011 through November 2013, the IRS has stopped 14.6 million suspicious returns,"

DrDubious said:   How hard would it be for the IRS to compare the income and taxes withheld on one's return to the W2's and 1099's they receive and say, "OK, not even close, no refund for you pending clarification?" Particularly if the payment account is one that has not been used for prior returns?
 

 
Isn't that exactly what happened to OP? I mean, it certainly could be done more effectively/efficiently (this is the IRS we're talking about), but it seems like the IRS sent OP a letter instead of paying out the fraudulent refund.

doveroftke said:   
matrix5k said:   I thought everyone on FW owed?
  
Scammers aren't trying to claim legitimate refunds, they're making up numbers to claim an inflated refund.

  wouldn't it be great if they used your SSN to file a false claim and paid your taxes for you?

austex said:   @micha8s, join the (growing) club. This happened to my spouse and I 2 years ago. You should immediately go to your local police department and report an identity theft. Don't worry, they will not laugh at you.) The police will give you a case number. With that case number, you can file with one of the 3 credit-reporting agencies to get a free 7-year fraud alert (different from a freeze) that covers all 3 CRAs and will greatly diminish the chances that someone will take out credit in your name.

Once your identities have been stolen, they can never be un-stolen...the information will be out there forever.

Good luck!

  
i just read today IRS is doing something similar now.  Comparing data to last year's return to determine if it could be fraud or not.  Supposedly they made great improvement over past years.

defjukie said:   
doveroftke said:   
matrix5k said:   I thought everyone on FW owed?
  
Scammers aren't trying to claim legitimate refunds, they're making up numbers to claim an inflated refund.

  wouldn't it be great if they used your SSN to file a false claim and paid your taxes for you?

  
That is similar to what happened to us 2 years ago. The scammer, who must not have done well in arithmetic class, filed a fake return showing us (him) owing the government $8000. So, he got no refund, and it was easy for us to have the IRS cancel that fake debt  

Applying for credit is a hassle now, due to the fraud alert. The IRS mails us his-and-hers PINs every January to enter into our tax returns. Last year one of us had to go to a local IRS office to show a driver's license before they would accept our tax return, even with the PIN...and we have not moved or changed our names or bank accounts in over a decade.

The takeaway is that once your identify is stolen, the information will remain on sale forever, so do what you can to protect yourself. 

Now what?  Now, Mr. Bond, you die.

austex said:   
defjukie said:   
doveroftke said:   
matrix5k said:   I thought everyone on FW owed?
  
Scammers aren't trying to claim legitimate refunds, they're making up numbers to claim an inflated refund.

  wouldn't it be great if they used your SSN to file a false claim and paid your taxes for you?

  
That is similar to what happened to us 2 years ago. The scammer, who must not have done well in arithmetic class, filed a fake return showing us (him) owing the government $8000. So, he got no refund, and it was easy for us to have the IRS cancel that fake debt  

Applying for credit is a hassle now, due to the fraud alert. The IRS mails us his-and-hers PINs every January to enter into our tax returns. Last year one of us had to go to a local IRS office to show a driver's license before they would accept our tax return, even with the PIN...and we have not moved or changed our names or bank accounts in over a decade.

The takeaway is that once your identify is stolen, the information will remain on sale forever, so do what you can to protect yourself. 

  

Yea ... I just had a couple credit cards opened in my name.  The hassle begins.

Micha8s,

As far as the identity theft you have suffered,
some good advice about various steps you can take now to mitigate the damage
was given in the following recent thread -- you might want to check it out:

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1542853

OP, are you totally sure that the letter was from the IRS?
When you contacted them, did you call a phone number that you found for the IRS independently (like on their website), or did you call the phone number that was listed in the letter?

DrDubious said:   How hard would it be for the IRS to compare the income and taxes withheld on one's return to the W2's and 1099's they receive and say, "OK, not even close, no refund for you pending clarification?" Particularly if the payment account is one that has not been used for prior returns?

I would think the IRS could stomp this kind of fraud out or least dial it way down with relatively minimal effort.

Or there something I'm not taking into account here?

  how hard would it be for congress to fund the IRS sufficiently enough to do its job, catch tax cheats, and pursue/prevent fraud? that's what you're missing.



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