This article originally appeared in Anderson Kill's Estate Planning & Tax Advisor (Summer 2013).
Summer is upon us and the 2013 tax season is a distant memory — for most of us, including our estate planning and tax clients here at Anderson Kill. Yet, in 2012 I learned firsthand why the 2012 tax season might continue indefinitely, thanks to the successful efforts of a tax identity thief who fraudulently claimed our son’s 2011 tax refund.
The stolen refund was truly an eye-opener because there were no conventional clues. On the contrary, it was a rejected, electronically “e-filed” IRS Form 1040 personal income tax return that triggered an eight-month journey into the unknown with the IRS to resolve our son’s refund fraud case.
Our son was and is not alone. Tax identity theft is on the rise. Little has been written on the topic from the victim’s perspective. Thus, the purpose of this article is to share the details of the IRS tax fraud resolution process — and to warn clients how to protect themselves from identity theft.