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This Is The Worst Tax Mistake You Can Make

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 7:33 AM
From The FiscalTimes:
If you’re waiting to file your taxes until the last minute, you’ve got plenty of company. The IRS says that 20 to 25 percent of taxpayers file within two weeks of the April 15 deadline, while another 7 percent get an extension.  

But those who wait risk paying more – and are more likely to be victims of identity theft.

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2
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,356 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 5,955
1. Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 7:58 AM
In the first week of January, a post (by 51hh I believe) mentioned that if you have been a victim of identity theft with the IRS, their Identity Protection specialized unit can assign a PIN to your account which has to be provided in order to claim refunds, regardless of whether your return is submitted electronically or via paper.

After reading the article, I called their specialized unit (800-908-4490)and spoke with a very helpful representative who confirmed the above.  She also clarified that if you have been a victim of identity theft (example: your credit card was used fraudulently), but not with respect to your IRS return (ie:  no one fraudulently claimed your tax refund), they will only note your account that you have been a victim of non-tax-ID-theft, but no PIN will be assigned. 
3
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,356 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 5,955
2. Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 9:33 AM
Well, I'm going to take this opportunity to complain about the IRS undermining people's ability to file early. I have been trying to get the IRS to send me 1040 and other tax forms since Jan. 2. To make a long story short, they have not sent any out until just about a week ago -- they only just printed them. I finally got mine this week, on Tuesday. 

Here it is just about March and I can only now have the forms and instructions to start figuring this out -- when I can get the time. I already had plenty of time in the past two months, but could not get any forms or instructins to do it -- but now, that time availability is gone, I will get to it when I can.

The IRS used to get this out to people during Christmas week. And so yes, people who did their own taxes could actually be filing by maybe February. Gee, you can't even get forms now until about March. (I don't like the tax software -- I have found mistakes in it when I've tested a couple different ones. Besides, I need all the instruction booklets to read over, can't do that very well with tax software.)

And it seems a year or two ago, they even pushed back the date by which at least mutual funds (I don't know about banks) have to get you your 1099 forms, to Feb. 15 -- which does not help doing early filing. And that's Feb. 15 to the mail, a few days later to you. I have one mutual fund that waits until the very end of the day on Feb. 15 to post it! I have no idea why they insist on doing it at the very last legal minute every year.
2
me1004me1004343 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,357
3. Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 9:41 AM
me:  I was in the same position as you and I also do not like using tax software.  However, I was determined to get my taxes done and mailed as usual on the second week of Feb so I just went to a website which had all of the printable forms I needed and could just fill in the info on my computer and then print them out and mail.  I also found the 2013 1040 ES I needed so everything got mailed as usual by MY schedule not the IRS!  That site is great because you don't have to file on-line and I didn't have to use my rackidy old typewriter to type in the info.  It was much easier doing it this way.  I never did get what I order in January from the IRS!  We just don't have to let them slow us down.  Do it by your schedule not theirs!   BTW,  I had posted the url for the webpage I used on here some weeks ago incase others were looking to file early.  It was not for just finding Estimated Tax forms but for all the others we need.
1
paoli2paoli21,142 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,091
4. Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 7:15 PM
Pearlbrown, the othe day I submitted Form 14039 to the IRS because I have been the victim of identity theft (see Fraudulent Card Card thread). I asked them about the pin # and they said I would probably receive one but not until Dec 2013 for the 2013 tax year. So I definitely won't have it for the 2012 tax year. I have not submitted my 2012 return as of yet. The IRS rep told me they would put my 2012 return through additional security screens for my protection. I intend to call them every few months to check my account.
1
loulou521 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,239
5. Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 9:01 PM
Lou, thanks for the update.  I do know about your terrible experience with identity theft, of course, and am again sorry that you have had to go through it.  If it helps at all, I think your willingness to take the time to discuss it on the forum has given all of Ken's readers an up-close look at what we sometimes prefer to think happens only to "other people".  It's definitely an eye-opener when the "other person" is a fellow member of the community, and one who can give a clear first-hand account of the toll it takes in time and stress.   I am willing to bet that as a result of your situation, several readers have subscribed to real-time credit monitoring services as an added precaution and are being extra thorough in reviewing their credit reports.

I wish I had remembered the IRS' specialized unit at the time you posted about the credit card fraud. In any case, I am glad your 2012 return will get extra attention in terms of security.  The periodic calling will also be a good way to continue to monitor your account, and the combined measures should increase your peace of mind.

You surely don’t need one more thing to worry about or one more item on your to-do list related to the identity theft nightmare.  However, next time (and every time) you call the IRS, you might confirm that all income being reported under your Social Security number is under your name and yours alone, and that all the sources of income are correct.  The key to your IRS account is your SSN, not your SSN and name.  If someone has appropriated your SS number, it's possible they might create a fake SS card with a fake name (or even your name) and provide it to their employer.  Their earnings will be reported under your SS number and you will only know it has happened if/when the IRS comes looking for the tax due on the under-reported earnings.   I don’t think the PIN will be a deterrent to this situation. 

I’ll post a link to this thread into your “Personal story of identity theft” thread.  If someone should need the guidance you provide there, this info might interest them as well.

As always, good luck to you and please continue to provide updates.
1
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,356 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 5,955
6. Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 10:26 PM
Thanks, Pearlbrown. I thought about the issue of having someone else's income reported under my SS#. I wonder if I have to call Social Security to check that rather than the IRS. Social Security sends an annual statement reporting your income each year which breaks down your Social Security income by year. I tried to call them the other day but no agents were available and was told to call back. I don't think the IRS would know about income until they receive a W2 or 1099 from the employer/bank. So I am not sure they could help me until the income is reported to them. Do you know how often an employer reports income for each employee to the IRS? Is it more than once a year?
1
loulou521 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,239
7. Friday, March 1, 2013 - 12:46 AM
I did a little research on the subject and discovered that the only way to monitor income under your social security number is to review the Social Security statement received each year. By checking the income listed on this statement, you can see if any income was fraudulently assigned to your SS#. The IRS would have no way of knowing because employers report only aggregrate income and withheld taxes every quarter to the IRS. Your W2 income is reported only once a year to the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, there is no one to call to check if someone using your SS# to report income.
1
loulou521 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,239
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