Tax Surprise

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Never ones to rush tax season, Spouse and I filed our returns this year on April 14th.

Or so we thought.

A panic-inducing email from our accountant at 9 PM that night indicated that our tax returns were rejected because the IRS indicated that they had already been filed – by someone else.

Tax related identity theft occurs when someone else steals your social security number and files a claim with it – usually early in the tax season – and scoops up any refund that you may have coming.

This crime is also on the rise – up 60% in recent years.

The super tragedy: this was the one year where we were slated to get a federal refund instead of paying more. D’Oh!

Spouse spent the morning of the 15th scrambling around to get paper taxes filed and sent, filing an affidavit with the IRS for identity theft, and reporting to the police. I contacted my employer’s office of physician staff services and they informed me that I was in good company: dozens of doctors where I work were also affected. We seem to have been targeted as part of a large scam. Argh.

Here are the steps we were advised to take:

  • File current taxes on paper by April 15th
  • Contact the IRS Identity Protection Unit
  • File an Identity Theft affidavit with the IRS
  • File a report with the local police
  • Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission
  • Contact the fraud department of all major credit bureaus
  • Contact the Social Security Administration
  • Report to our local Social Security office (show up in person)

What a pain.