Identity theft is anyone’s worst nightmare. Someone has access to your Social Security number and other personal information. Stolen income tax returns are a common identity theft complaint that will take some time to resolve. As a tax preparation service in Fort Mill, SC, Blackwell’s Tax Service wants you to be aware and alert for this threat.

How will I know if my tax refund has been stolen?

If your income tax refund doesn’t show up in the mail or your direct deposit account within the suggested time, there may be a problem. You may also receive a letter of rejection or a report from the IRS that your income reported does not match what they have on file. Or, you may receive a notice that a tax return has already been filed in your name.

What steps do I need to take to get my tax refund back?

The next step that you’ll have to do is to report the suspected fraud to the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. You’ll more than likely have to provide substantial evidence of the fraud including photo identification, prior and current W-2 forms, and previous income tax returns. Report your suspicions to your credit card companies as well. This will protect you from issues with those accounts. Once the IRS receives the credible evidence, it can take at least six months or more to be able to get your tax return back.

How to protect yourself

It’s important to never give any of your personal information out over the phone or through email. The IRS will never email you for personal information, and it’s always better to call the IRS at their direct number to ensure it’s a protected line. Using a trusted tax preparation service can also help guarantee the security of your information. Blackwell’s Tax Service offers trusted and professional tax preparation in the Fort Mill, Rock Hill, and York County areas of South Carolina.