In either case, if you find you are the recipient of a tax refund that you did not initiate yourself by filing your income tax return, the IRS urges taxpayers to follow the established procedures for returning an erroneous refund to the IRS by following the steps outlined by Tax Topic Number 161 – Returning an Erroneous Refund
. They recommend that taxpayers discuss the issue with their financial institution because there may be a need to close the bank account involved. Also, taxpayers receiving erroneous refunds should contact their tax preparers immediately.
Because this is a peak season for filing tax returns, taxpayers who are victims of this fraud scheme and file electronically may find that their tax return will reject because a return bearing their Social Security number is already on file. If that’s the case, taxpayers should follow the steps outlined in the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft
. Taxpayers unable to file electronically should mail a paper tax return along with Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, stating they were victims of a tax preparer data breach.
To learn more about what to do if you believe you have been a victim of an IRS tax scam, follow the steps outlined in the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft
, or call the IRS toll free at 800-829-1040 (individual) or 800-829-4933 (business).