For tax year 2011, the IRS experience a large surge in false returns filed. Apparently, there were several groups that took over the names and Social Security Numbers of several millions of taxpayers and file returns under the stolen names and Social Security Numbers.
I do not know who filed a return under your SSN. It could very well be "the lady". However, unless you have some sort of indication that she filed your return for tax year 2011, you likely should not start accusing her.
You have the right to copies of the tax returns filed under your SSN. You can request a free tax transcript from the IRS by using Form 4506-T. The forms are available at www.irs.gov .
You can also get a photocopy of the tax return filed by using Form 4506. However, there is a fee for the photocopy.
If you do know for a fact that "the lady" filed a false return under your name, you can contact the IRS to file a report.
You should work with the IRS to correct any false return that was filed under your SSN.
Your first step is to file a report with the IRS. Don't start accusing anyone until you know where the return came from. The IRS should be able to access this information.
If it turns out that your return was filed by someone who wasn't authorized to file it, report that person to both state and federal authorities, as that may constitute identity theft.
You can report abusive tax preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS on Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If you suspect a return preparer filed or altered a return without your consent, you should also file Form 14157-A, Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit. Download the forms on the IRS.gov website or order them by mail at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California and handles federal tax matters throughout the U.S. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.
One of the defenses to the assertion of a federal income tax deficiency is that the tax is being imposed on income that the taxpayer did not earn. This can be the result of someone else using the taxpayer’s identification number. For instance, while it is most common for identity thieves to use another person’s credit cards, they also fraudulently file tax returns, oftentimes seeking a refund that may or may not be due the innocent victim. Identity thieves may also sometimes use another taxpayer’s social security number for the purpose of reporting their own earnings without making themselves personally liable for the earnings.
Cases of identity theft have increased to the point that the IRS has created an identity theft section located in Andover, MA. Correspondence to them should be sent to P.O. Box 9039, Andover, MA 01810-0939. For emergencies the section can be reached at (978) 684-4542. Once the identity theft matter has been brought to the attention of the IRS, the IRS may issue a PIN to use when filing the taxpayer’s return. See IRS Notice 2010 TNT 245-16.
There are three courses of action available for identity theft matters depending on when the taxpayer discovers the theft. First, if the taxpayer discovers the fraud before issuance of the statutory notice of deficiency (90-day letter), the notebook and memorandum (discussed in greater detail below) will need to be prepared and sent to the Examinations Division. Second, if the taxpayer discovers the fraud during the pendency of the 90-day letter, a petition to the United States Tax Court should be filed and then a memorandum and notebook (discussed in greater detail below) should be prepared for submission to the Appeals Officer or Chief Counsel Attorney. Third, if the taxpayer discovers the fraud after the tax has already been assessed (i.e. when the taxpayer is already receiving collections notices), the memorandum and notebook (discussed in greater detail below) should be sent to the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, at 310 Lovell St., Andover, MA 01810-5430.
A notebook should include the following information: (1) an Identity Theft Complaint submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”); (2) IRS Identity Theft Form 14039; (3) a memorandum with a statement of the facts; (4) the police report; (5) a photocopy of a valid form of picture identification; and (6) credible documentary evidence of the identity theft (perhaps your affidavit).
The memorandum should include the following information: (1) an introduction; (2) a section outlining the taxpayer’s previous filing history up to the point the taxpayer’s identity was stolen (and why the taxpayer did not file for the tax year); (3) a section discussing the taxpayer’s personal background, health, location, educational history, and work history (paying attention to contrast discrepancies existing in the fraud, for instance a different address or a different employer used); (4) a factual analysis that demonstrates that the income is not that of the taxpayer (i.e. a showing that the taxpayer could not have worked at the particular source of income fraudulently claimed or that none of the income has shown up in the taxpayer’s bank account—if a refund was sent, try to determine the address to which the refund was sent. Internet searches may also be useful in determining if other complaints have been filed against a certain individual or in connection with the use of the same address); (5) a law and analysis section; and (6) a conclusion section. The IRS Identity Theft Form 14039, the police report, and the FTC Identity Theft Complaint should be included in the notebook as exhibits to the memorandum.
I hope this helps and good luck!
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