Tax News
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Steve Sims, Taxpayers' Rights Advocate.

Identity Theft Resolution

Question:  I electronically filed my client’s return only to find it’s rejected because another return using the same social security number has already been filed for that tax year. Now what?

Answer: I heard this question too frequently in the past few filing seasons. By now, most practitioners are aware that identity theft with tax returns has become a big problem, but more and more of you are being faced with the reality in your own businesses. Although I hope you do not have to deal with this issue, I thought as tax season gets underway it would be a good idea to provide some helpful tips for those practitioners who find themselves with clients in this predicament.

We define tax-related identity (ID) theft as an account where the imposter is intentionally filing tax returns using the victim's SSN and name. Although, the cases primarily consist of fraudulent or invalid return filings, they also consist of erroneous filing enforcement assessments and erroneous audit assessments as a result of an imposter using a taxpayer’s name and social security number for employment purposes, purchasing real property, or obtaining an occupational license.

Once you realize that one of your clients has been a victim, the client should contact us immediately. Our ID theft resolution coordinator can be contacted at:

PO BOX 2952
SACRAMENTO CA 95812-2952

Telephone: 916.845.3669
Fax: 916.843.0561

Your client will be asked to fill out FTB 3552PC Identity Theft Affidavit. They should also be prepared to send copies of the following documents to us, if available:

  • Passport.
  • Driver license or Department of Motor Vehicles identification card.
  • Social security card.
  • Police report.
  • Internal Revenue Service letter of determination.

The return that was rejected by e-file will need to be submitted on paper. The processing of the return will likely take several months, so remind your client about the delay if they are expecting a refund.

You can find more information at our recently updated ID Theft webpage.

For more information about early detection and how to stop fraud, see our April 2012 edition of Tax News.

Steve Sims, EA
Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate

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