Individuals who had their sensitive tax information compromised by scammers attempting to steal their unemployment benefits are urged by Optima Tax Relief to file a tax return claiming only the income that they received for the tax year.
Throughout 2020, millions of taxpayer’s employment and income were affected by the ongoing pandemic through job loss and reduced work hours. Many individuals filed for unemployment compensation from their state during this time to assist them until they were financially stable. By law, the unemployment benefits that many received are considered taxable and must be reported as income on their tax return.
Many scammers took advantage of the unemployed during the pandemic by filing fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation. These thieves also used stolen personal information from individuals who did not file any claims. Payments made went directly to the identity thieves instead of the individuals who may have needed it.
Taxpayers who received an incorrect copy of Form 1099-G should immediately contact the issuing state agency and request a revised form. If they are unable to get a corrected form on time, they should still file their return with the amount of compensation that they received for the tax years. Taxpayers should also save all documentation they have regarding their attempt to receive a corrected form from their state agency.
If you are a victim of identity theft, you should visit Identity Theft Central found on the IRS’s website. This will allow individuals to understand what signs they should look out for if they believe they are a victim of identity theft.
Taxpayers are not required to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, with the IRS. An affidavit is typically required only when a taxpayer’s e-filed return has been rejected because a return using the same Social Security number was already filed.
For those who are concerned that their personal information has been stolen or they want to protect their identity when filing their federal tax return, they have the option to request any identity protection pin from the IRS.