How To Handle Identity Theft


If you know that you have been scammed and that your personal information has been compromised please tell the IRS.  You will need to file Form 14039: Identity Theft Affidavit. You can find this form on the IRS website:

This will mark you return as “suspect”.  Sometimes others will use your ID to file a false return in your name and try to capture your refund!!!

You will need to obtain an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (PIN), a six digit number that you will use instead of your Social Security number on future returns. 

You must obtain a PIN if

  1. You lost an IRS notice sent to you with an IP Pin

  2. You had an IP Pin before but didn’t receive a new one

  3. Your efiled return was rejected because your IP Pin was missing or incorrect

You can obtain one on line but must go through an authentication process called “Secure Access Steps”.  They are explained at the IRS Secure Access page at

It is a complicated pain in the neck but the IRS is here to help protect you.  If your identity is stolen and someone files in your name to get your refund it could take months for the IRS to send you what you truly deserve.  This process speeds things up.


lois fishman