The IRS reminded identity theft victims of important steps they should take to protect themselves from tax fraud. By requesting Identity Protection (IP) PINs from the Get an IP PIN tool, taxpayers can prevent thieves from claiming tax refunds in their names. An IP PIN helps prevent the misuse of their Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on federal income tax returns. The IRS may automatically assign an IP PIN if it determines the taxpayer is a victim of tax-related identity theft.

Further, the IRS informed taxpayers how to handle tax-related identity theft. In most tax-related identity theft cases, the IRS identifies a suspicious tax return and pulls it for review. The IRS then sends a letter to the taxpayer and won’t process the tax return until the taxpayer responds. The IRS identified three types of letter it may send to taxpayer to verify their identity. If the taxpayer receives any of these letters, they don’t need to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Instead, they should follow the instructions in the letter.

Additionally, the IRS explained that taxpayers may need to submit a Form 14039 if they suspect tax-related identity theft and have not heard from the IRS. The IRS provided a list of possible tax-related identity theft situations. Lastly, the IRS informed taxpayers that they do not need to report incidents of non-tax-related identity theft to the IRS but should take steps to protect themselves against the type of identity theft they have experienced. The IRS provided a list of potential evidence of non-tax-related identity theft. Victims of non-tax-related identity theft do not need to file Form 14039.