Identity Theft and Your Tax Records
The IRS does not initiate communication with taxpayers through e-mail. Before identity theft happens, safeguard your information.
What do I do if the IRS contacts me because of a tax issue that may have been created by an identity theft?
If you receive a notice or letter in the mail from the IRS that leads you to believe someone may have used your Social Security number fraudulently, please respond immediately to the name, address, and/or number printed on the IRS notice.
Be alert to possible identity theft if the IRS issued notice or letter:
- states more than one tax return was filed for you, or
- indicates you received wages from an employer unknown to you.
An identity thief might also use your Social Security number to file a tax return in order to receive a refund. If the thief files the tax return before you do, the IRS will believe you already filed and received your refund if eligible.
If your Social Security number is stolen, it may be used by another individual to get a job. That person’s employer would report income earned to the IRS using your Social Security number, making it appear that you did not report all of your income on your tax return.
If you have previously been in contact with the IRS and have not achieved a resolution, please contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 1-800-908-4490.
What do I do if I have not been contacted by IRS for a tax issue but believe I am a victim of identity theft?
If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost/stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity, credit report, or other activity, you need to provide the IRS with proof of your identity.
You should submit a copy, not the original documents, of your valid Federal or State issued identification, such as a social security card, driver's license, or passport, etc, along with a copy of a police report or Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Affidavit. If the FTC Affidavit is not notarized, a witness (non-relative) must sign it.
Please send these documents using one of the following options:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 9039
Andover, MA 01810-0939
FAX: Note that this is not a toll-free FAX number
For your convenience, Form 14026 is available as a cover sheet for submitting your documentation.
You may also contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free 1-800-908-4490 for guidance.
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. your local time (Alaska & Hawaii follow Pacific Time).
Additional IRS.gov resources
- How to report and identify phishing, e-mail scams and bogus IRS Web sites. Another guide that will help in identifying fishing is this one by comparitech.
- If you are experiencing economic harm or a systemic problem, or are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, you may be eligible for Taxpayer Advocate Service assistance.
- If you do not prepare your own return, be careful in choosing your tax preparer.
- Repository of IRS messages related to suspicious e-mails and identity theft
The IRS does not initiate communication with taxpayers through e-mail.