INDIANA — As Hoosier taxpayers prepare to file their tax returns and many eagerly await their annual cash infusion known as the tax refund, state officials are advising caution.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is warning Hoosiers to beware of scams such as identity theft, which often happens at tax time.
While many families make plans to pay off debts or make significant purchases with their tax refund, identity thieves are developing plans of their own with that hard-earned cash.
Tax identify thieves use other people’s Social Security Numbers to file taxes and some even gain employment with this ill-gotten information. The red flag for victims of identity theft will be a notification from the IRS that a tax return has already been filed using the stolen number.
The Federal Trade Commission has partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General to bring awareness and tools to help people protect themselves from tax identity theft.
On their website, the FTC has provided free webinars and other information in order to help tax payers learn what to do if they need assistance with tax identity theft or an IRS imposter scam. Information specifically dedicated to taxpayers, military service members and small business operators can also be found on the site.
According to the IRS, the following are warning signs of possible tax-related identity theft:
- More than one tax return was filed for you.
- You owe additional tax, have a refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
- IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer for whom you did not work.
If you believe you have been the victim of tax-related or any other type of identity theft, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General office can help. Go to indianaconsumer.com or call (800) 382-5516 to make a complaint.