IRS Form 14309: Report Identity Theft to the IRSPersonal Taxes
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In March 2023, the IRS reported that over a million tax returns were flagged due to identity theft concerns. This negative statistic indicates that submitting fraudulent tax returns remains a major issue despite the IRS’s efforts to prevent identity theft.
Even so, most taxpayers don’t have to file an IRS Form 14309 Identity Theft Affidavit because the agency’s systems utilize advanced filters to detect suspicious tax returns.
Completing this form is your last line of defense against scammers that slip under the IRS’s radar, as it enables you to draw their attention to your tax return and ensures you can fulfill your tax obligations for the current tax year.
We’ll help you determine whether filing the identity theft affidavit is necessary and walk you through the steps to fill out and file Form 14309.
- IRS Form 14309 is designed to help identity theft victims report unauthorized use of their private data.
- You don’t have to file this form if you received Letter 4883C, Letter 5071C, or Letter 5747C from the IRS.
- On average, the IRS needs between 120 and 180 days to resolve a tax-related identity theft case.
Table of Contents
What is an Identity Theft Affidavit?
Taxpayers who cannot file their tax returns due to misuse of their Social Security Numbers can complete Form 14309 Identity Theft Affidavit to report the issue.
You may also have to send this form to the IRS in response to a notice or a letter you received from the IRS or if someone used your dependent‘s SSN on their tax return without your permission.
Moreover, you should file this form if you suspect that Notice CP501 or any other notice you get requesting immediate payment is fake.
The document’s primary purpose is to report tax-related identity theft incidents. The IRS defines tax-related identity thefts as attempts to claim taxpayers’ tax refunds using their SSN to file a tax return.
On the other hand, receiving Form W2 from a company you never worked for is an example of non-tax-related identity theft, and you should report it to the Social Security Administration, Credit Bureau, and other authorities.
Recognizing Tax-Related Identity Theft Signs
The IRS informs a taxpayer if their tax return is flagged for an additional identity check. You’ll receive Letter 5071C if you can complete the identity verification process online or Letter 4883C if the IRS wants you to go through this process during a telephone call.
Identity theft victims usually receive a request for an in-person identity verification at a local Taxpayer Assistance Center on Letter 5747C. Each letter contains instructions you must follow to confirm your identity, so you don’t have to file Form 14309 if you receive one of these letters.
However, you must complete an identity theft affidavit if you don’t get an identity verification request from the IRS and notice one of the signs below:
- You can’t e-file your tax return even though you entered the correct SSN on the form or notice a duplicate return you didn’t file.
- You cannot submit a return electronically because your dependent’s SSN or TIN was used to file another return without your consent.
- A tax software company sent you a notice informing you a new online account was generated under your name or an existing account under your name was altered without your knowledge.
- You received a tax transcript you didn’t request.
- You got an IRS notice that threatens to levy your assets or indicates an outstanding tax liability even though you paid your taxes on time or didn’t file a tax return for the tax year in question.
- The IRS assigned you an EIN, although you didn’t apply for this number.
- The IRS mailed you a notice informing you that you received income from a company you don’t work for.
Filling Out and Submitting IRS Form 14309
Don’t rush to file Form 14309 if you suspect you’re an identity theft victim. Call the IRS first and consult a tax professional to determine whether submitting an identity theft affidavit is necessary.
The form has six sections, but each contains a handful of questions you must answer to give the IRS information about the issue. Here’s a quick overview of Form 14309.
You should specify the reason you’re submitting the form in this section. Hence, you must indicate if you’re filing the form for yourself on behalf of your dependent or another person living or deceased. You’ll have to include the number of the notice or letter if you’re filing the form as a response to correspondence you received from the IRS.
You should explain how the identity theft issue you’re reporting impacts your tax account and specify if you know who used your information to file a tax return.
You can indicate that your SSN was fraudulently used for employment purposes or that you or your dependent were incorrectly or fraudulently claimed as a dependent on another tax return.
As its title suggests, Section C gathers information about the victim. To complete this portion of the form, you must provide the victim’s full name, SSN or ITIN, current mailing address, the address used on the last return, and the phone number with the area code.
You should also specify the language you want to be contacted before moving on to the next section.
Skip this section if you’re submitting an identity theft affidavit in response to an IRS letter or notice. In all other cases, you must enter information about your last return in Section D.
In addition, you must also specify which tax returns were impacted by tax-related identity theft and check the appropriate box if you had no filing requirements for the year when the identity theft occurred.
Sign the document and enter the date on the appropriate lines. Remember that signing Form 14309 means you’re vouching for the accuracy of the information.
If you’re filing the form for someone else, you must reveal the nature of your relationship in Section F.
The court-appointed representatives of deceased individuals, the decedent’s legal guardians, children or parents, and conservators must attach additional documents to Form 14309.
Submitting Form 14309
You must complete this form on IdentityTheft.gov if you want to file it electronically, and the Federal Trade Commission will forward it to the IRS.
However, you cannot e-file this form directly with the IRS. You must either fax it or send it via mail. You can attach Form 14309 to your paper tax return and mail it to the IRS if you can’t e-file your return due to misuse of your spouse’s or your dependent’s SSN.
Use the address on the IRS notice or letter if you’re filing the form in response to the correspondence you received.
Taxpayers who fax Form 14309 to the IRS must follow the instructions on the form.
The Next Steps After Filing Form 14309
The first thing you should do after sending Form 14309 to the IRS is request a PIN to add an extra layer of protection to your tax account. However, the IRS will assign you this number when they resolve the case, even if you don’t request it.
You’ll receive a notice from the IRS approximately thirty days after you file the form informing you that they received your identity theft affidavit. The notice sometimes contains the identity verification request.
The IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance Department will process your case and ensure your account doesn’t contain a fraudulent tax return. You’ll receive the tax refund if you’re eligible after the issue is resolved and your tax return is processed.
Moving forward, your tax account will have an indicator that prevents future identity theft attempts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Submitting the identity theft affidavit will make your account less susceptible to identity theft because you’ll receive a PIN, and the IRS will check more often if the tax returns on your account are genuine.
Speaking with IRS and FTC representatives can be beneficial if you need guidance through the identity verification process or are unsure whether filing Form 14309 is necessary.
You should call (800) 908-4490 after you send the form to the IRS to speak with an agent from the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit who can give you more information about what you need to do next.
You shouldn’t file more than one Form 14309 for the same incident, but you must use separate forms to report two or more identity theft issues.
The Importance of IRS Form 14309 for Identity Theft Prevention
Most identity theft victims don’t have to file Form 14309 because the IRS usually detects fraudulent tax returns as soon as they’re filed.
However, their systems aren’t bulletproof, so your tax refund can still end up in the wrong hands if you ignore identity theft signs.
Filing Form 14309 is the best way to draw the IRS’ attention to a fraudulent tax return. Moreover, completing the identity theft audit will also reduce the chances of similar incidents in the future.
Getting through to an IRS agent who can help you determine whether filing this form is the right decision might be challenging. Consider talking to a tax professional who can advise you on proceeding if you suspect someone misused your private data.
Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.