Tax ID Theft Victims Fraudulent Return Copy Available
As part of its continuing efforts to fight cyber tax crime, the Internal Revenue Service launched a new web page, Identity Theft Central. Among the areas this new IRS.gov section covers, is what to do if you're a victim of tax identity theft.
This includes the process of getting a copy of a fraudulent return that was filed in your name. In the case of a 1040 filed by someone pretending to be a taxpayer in order to get a fraudulent refund, most would want to see a copy of the fraudulent return.
In response to taxpayer requests, the agency's Fraudulent Return Request Program will send you a copy of the fake return if you are an ID theft victim.
Following are the steps to be followed:
The form must be completed with your real identifying data. This includes:
- Your name and Social Security number
- Your mailing address
- Tax year(s) of the fraudulent return(s) you are requesting
Due to federal privacy laws, you can request the fraudulent return only if your Social Security number was the one used as either the primary or secondary taxpayer on the fraudulent return.
Those privacy restrictions mean that the IRS cannot disclose any return information to a person listed only as a dependent.
Paper-only requests: You must sign the Form 4506-F. Like all taxpayers' transactions with the IRS, the agency wants you to literally sign off on it. That requirement brings up another procedure point. This request cannot be made electronically.
You will have to download the fraudulent return request form, fill it out and mail it to the IRS at the following address:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888-0025
If you prefer to use a private delivery service, send your request to:
Internal Revenue Service
5045 East Butler Avenue
Fresno, CA 93727
"Identity Theft – Request for Fraudulent Return"
Third-party request steps: If the taxpayer is using the services of a professional to obtain the fraudulent tax return, that person will have to take additional steps.
The Form 4506-F must contain the third-party's —
- Name and tax identification number (usually your Social Security number)
- Relationship to the identity theft victim (for example, parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative)
- Mailing address.
- Centralized authorization file (CAF) number if you were assigned one by the IRS for an authorization that is on file with the IRS covering the requested tax year(s)
- Tax year(s) of the fraudulent return(s) being requested
All that information is in addition to the taxpayer's name and Social Security number and mailing address.
And, of course, the third-party seeking the information must sign the form.
The Form 4506-F also must be accompanied by a copy of your documents demonstrating your authority to receive the requested tax return information, such as Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative; Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization; or a court order.
The IRS does not require the added documents if you're seeking return information for your minor child as a parent or legal guardian. They are also waived if your authority to obtain return information for the requested tax year(s) is on file with the IRS and you are providing your CAF number.
Form limits, special requests: Right now, the IRS will only accept requests for fraudulent tax returns filed using Forms 1040, 1040-NR or 1040NR-EZ.
You can, though, request copies of fraudulent returns filed using those forms for the current tax year and previous six tax years.
Note, too, that if the address you entered on your Form 4506-F is not the same as the one the IRS has your address of record, your copy request will be rejected.
Fraudulent return turnaround: There are several factors that could affect the delivery of the fake return.
A key one is whether there are any open, unresolved issues with a tax return for a tax year requested. "These are very complex cases," says the IRS on its website, "and we will need to resolve the underlying identity theft case before we can provide the return."
Generally, though, the IRS says it will acknowledge your request within 30 days of receipt and within 90 days you will receive the return or follow-up correspondence.
A look at some, not all, info: Your copy of the falsely filed 1040 will be masked, which is the replacing of information with something else, like ###-#### in place of a phone number, or redacted, which is the total blacking-out or removing of information that is personally identifiable, sensitive, confidential or classified.
The IRS table below details what will not be visible on your copy of the fraudulent return:
|Names of all individual persons listed on the tax return, forms or schedules||Entire name except the first four letters of the last name (If the last name is 4 letters or less, then fewer than 4 letters of the last name will remain visible.)|
|All addresses on the tax return, forms or schedules||Entire address except the first six spaces of the street line|
|Names and address of all other persons or entities on return||Entire name and address|
|Taxpayer identification numbers (Social Security number/SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number/ITIN) and employer identification numbers (EIN)||Entire number except the last four digits|
|Personally identifiable numbers, such as Designee's Personal Identification Number (DPIN), Preparer’s Tax Identification Number (PTIN), etc.||Entire number except the last four digits|
|IP address and names of software companies||Entire name and address|
|Telephone number(s)||Entire number except the last four digits|
|Bank routing and account number(s)||Entire number except the last four digits|