Industry Insights

IRS Gives ID Theft Victims Ability to See Fraudulent Tax Returns

December 2015
Author:  Susan Thiessen

Susan Thiessen

National Tax Administrator


910 E. St. Louis Street, Suite 400
P.O. Box 1900
Springfield, MO 65801-1900 (65806)

Springfield - HQ

On November 3, the IRS posted formal guidance on its website for identity theft victims to request copies of fraudulent tax returns filed in their names. 

The IRS recognizes the burden identity theft places on victims and realizes victims have a right to know more about the information used on fraudulent tax returns using their Social Security numbers (SSN). This new process will help victims determine what personal data was compromised and take necessary steps to clear up their identity and credit. 

The IRS instructions include guidance on what information and documentation is required to request a copy of the return as well as a list of FAQs. A copy of the return will not be provided unless the victim’s name and SSN is listed as the primary or secondary taxpayer on the return. Due to federal privacy laws, some information may be redacted on the return, as noted in the IRS FAQs. 

Victims may request a copy of the fraudulent return at any time, but the IRS must resolve the identity theft case before it can release the return. The IRS Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft provides guidance on what to do if you’ve learned you are a victim of tax-related identity theft. 

Previous BKD Alerts offer more information about tax-related identity theft and methods thieves use to lure taxpayers into fraudulent scams

If you believe you’re a victim, or if you have questions or concerns about tax-related identity theft, contact your BKD advisor.

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