Stolen social security numbers cause tax troubles… some longterm

Simpson Co. woman shares her story; plus CPA gives advice

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.  – Tax season can be a stressful time even when everything is running smoothly, but when criminals use your social security number, it can bring a whole new wave of trouble.

That’s what happened to one Simpson County woman, Katie Evans.

“10 years ago I filed my taxes, and after several months of waiting and checking for my refund and not really getting anywhere, I had to start making phone calls to the IRS and finally realized that someone else had submitted a tax form with my social security number. It was basically being flagged as fraud,” said Evans.

It took Katie a full year until she got her tax return refund check, but the annoyances didn’t stop there.

Katie has had to jump through hoops over the years, proving her own identity to the IRS.

“When they first ask you to prove yourself, it’s a whole series of questions, and they’re really hard to answer because they go way far back into your past about various things that you need to know. [They ask about] various loans you may have taken out.”

One certified public accountant office in Bowling Green, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, says that many people like Katie who have their social security number stolen did nothing wrong.

CPA and manager Will Geer said, “There’s a lot of bad guys out there, and there are many ways that they’re getting the information, But the most common way is just a data breeches. Also, information is out on the dark web forever.”

Even someone else making a typo on their tax form can unintentionally cause tax return theft. That’s why requesting a PIN number from the IRS website is the perfect way you can prevent stolen tax returns before it even happens.

As for Katie, she says even though this isn’t the perfect situation, she’s making it work.

“I know I’ve got to cross every “T” and dot every “I” and make sure I mind on my p’s and q’s when I file my taxes.”

Geer says if you’re a victim of tax fraud, look for a letter from the IRS in the mail. On the other hand, if you know someone has a hold of your social security number, call the IRS immediately and plan on getting a PIN number.