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ASK THE EDD ATTORNEY – IRS IDENTITY THEFT - HOW TO OBTAIN A COPY OF A FRAUDULENT RETURN

By Robert S. Schriebman
November 11, 2015

Introduction

In Article 197 I discussed the current status of IRS identity theft and the efforts both the IRS and private industry to protect both the public and the Treasury Department. Identity thieves remain very active. Identity thief occurs when crooks use your Social Security number or your business Employer Identification Number (EIN) to commit 2 major categories of fraud:

  • Refund claim identity theft – filing a phony tax return claiming a phony refund
  • Payroll tax identity theft. These are job related ploys.

Most people find out that they are victims of identity theft when they attempt to file an income tax return electronically seeking a refund. However, the IRS informs the filer that an earlier return was filed and a refund had been issued.

While the IRS and private industry are working diligently to keep one step ahead of these crooks, they are not going away any time soon. Identity theft of all sorts is going to continue to be a problem for everyone. To me identity theft is a non-violent form of terrorism. It is a violation in the nature of a burglary.

If you are a victim of IRS identity theft there are steps that you should take, both inside and outside the IRS to protect yourself. Please review Article 197 for my recommendations. One thing you must do is to obtain IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit, complete it and send it to the IRS. Make sure you check the box that states that you are a victim of identity theft.

On November 10, 2015 the IRS published "2015ARD 215-13 Internal Revenue Service: Identity Theft: Fraudulent returns: Request for copies".

This article will instruct you how to go about obtaining a copy of a fraudulent return.

Instructions For Requesting A Copy Of A Fraudulent Return

The IRS understands that identity theft is a serious problem and a frustrating process for victims. A victim of identity theft or a person authorized to obtain the victim’s tax information may request a redacted copy of a fraudulent return that was filed and accepted by the IRS using the victim’s name and Social Security number. A redacted copy means one with some information blacked out. The information is only available to the primary or secondary taxpayer. In other words a dependent or some other third party is not allowed access to this information. However, a lawyer or a CPA with a valid Power of Attorney (IRS Form 2848) may obtain a copy of the return.

To make the request you will need to prepare a signed letter with information set forth below.

The letter requesting a copy of the fraudulent return must contain the following information:

  • Your name and SSN
  • Your mailing address
  • Tax year(s) of the fraudulent return(s) you are requesting
  • The following statement, with your signature beneath: "I declare that I am the taxpayer."

Your letter must be accompanied by a copy of your government-issued identification (for example, a driver’s license or passport).

Your request must be sent to the following address:

IRS
P.O. Box 9039
Andover, MA 01810-0939

Note: If you are a parent, requesting a copy of a fraudulent return on behalf of a minor child you must state that you are requesting return information for the child in your capacity as a parent or legal guardian.

The official IRS publication also lists several FAQs, such as the following:

  • How long will it take to get a copy of the fraudulent return?
    There are several factors involved. One factor is whether there are any open and unresolved issues with a tax return for the requested tax year. This could cause a delay. However, the average wait time may be longer than 90 days. The IRS is short of help these days.
  • What type of tax returns can you get?
    Currently only income tax returns are available, such as Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040NR-EZ. As the date of this writing employment tax returns and corporate income tax returns are not available.
  • How many years can I request?
    You can request copies of fraudulent returns for the current year and the previous 6 years.
  • Must my current address match the address on current IRS records?
    If your current address does not match the address on IRS records, your request will be bounced. You must file IRS Form 8822 Change of Address with the IRS before making a request for the fraudulent return.
  • I attempted to e-file my return and it was rejected because someone already filed using my Social Security number. Can I request this information now?
    You may request a copy of the fraudulent return at any time, but the IRS must resolve the identity theft case before the IRS can give you a copy of the return. The IRS recommends that you go online and obtain a copy of its Taxpayer Guide To Identity Theft. This will give the best steps to take t resolve your case.

Conclusion

The efforts of the IRS to share fraudulently filed tax return information is a fairly new program. In time I am confident that it will be expanded to include a wide range of tax returns such as payroll returns and corporate returns. As these programs are developed and announced to the public, I will do my very best to keep you informed.

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Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States. He has successfully dedicated more than 40 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments.

Robert Schriebman has written the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure", both published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House in addition to the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure", both published by Commerce Clearing House.

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