For many, tax season is one of the most stressful times of the year. Unfortunately, filing taxes can be complicated, especially for those who do so on their own, However, when you submit your taxes, you may eagerly await your return, only to find it never arrives. Instead, you receive a notification from the IRS that causes you to panic – you are the victim of tax identity theft! If this reflects your circumstances, the following blog explores what you can do to regain control of your identity with the assistance of a California identity theft victim lawyer.
What Is Tax Identity Theft?
Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals the sensitive information of another person to file a tax return as a means of taking their tax return. Generally, as long as someone has your social security number, name, and birthday, they can file a false return posing as you. Similarly, they may use this information to obtain employment, pretending to be you.
Unfortunately, many are none the wiser when their information is used to commit tax identity theft. The victim may only discover this occurred after receiving a letter from the IRS about a return they never filed receiving an alert that they cannot re-submit a tax return they never filed.
How Can I Prevent This From Happening?
If you are worried about becoming a victim of identity theft, understanding the steps you can take to prevent this from occurring is vital. Generally, the most important thing you can do is limit what information you share online and where. Unfortunately, identity theft can occur as the result of information accessed in an identity breach. As such, you should only enter your sensitive information into legitimate websites.
Another way to prevent tax identity theft is to file your taxes early. Though you may want to wait until the last minute because you are busy or just don’t like this process, the sooner you file, the less likely it is that someone else will pretend to be you.
What Can I Do if My Identity’s Been Compromised?
When you discover that your identity has been compromised, taking immediate action to remedy the circumstances is vital. The first step you should take is to contact the Federal Trade Commission. They will take your report of the theft and help personalize a recovery plan for you to follow.
Next, you’ll want to contact an experienced identity recovery attorney. Unfortunately, this process can be overwhelming, so ensuring you have someone well-versed in these matters to guide you is essential. Similarly, if you want to pursue legal action against the company that failed to secure your information or the individual responsible for stealing your identity, having legal representation is vital.
At Loker Law, we understand how devastating it can be to discover you are a victim of identity theft. As such, our team will do everything possible to help you navigate these challenging times. Contact us today to learn more.