Identity theft is now rampant in the United States and around the world. Any entity that holds your private information including banks, hospitals and even the IRS are potential targets of identity thieves. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are aware that the IRS is a regular and repeated target by identity thieves and that Social Security numbers are particularly valuable to identity thieves.
One type of identity theft that you may have heard about is where an individual, often an immigrant here illegally, purchases a Social Security number from an identity thief in order to obtain employment. As a result, the income earned by this individual is reported under your Social Security number to you and in addition to the income you have earned through your own efforts. The IRS will contact you after you file your tax return to inform you that the tax return you filed was inaccurate because you did not include the income earned by the identity thief. This, in turn, causes you to tussle with the IRS as to whether the income earned by the identity thief should be reported on your tax return.
Beginning in January of 2017, the IRS plans to begin notifying taxpayers if their Social Security numbers are being used by others to obtain employment. In the 2014 filing season alone, the IRS identified 200,000 new cases of employment-related identity theft. Unfortunately, the IRS does not presently have any plans to notify taxpayers of employment-related identity theft that occurred prior to January 2017.
Has someone stolen your Social Security number and earned income that was subsequently reported to you? Call us, we can help.