March 6, 2015
***National Consumer Protection Week Consumer Alert***
Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt warns taxpayers that they may be particularly vulnerable to tax identity theft during tax season.
“Fraudulent tax return filings are a common way for criminals to exploit another individual’s tax identity,” said Laxalt. “While our office will continue to protect taxpayers from fraudsters, it is imperative that Nevadans familiarize themselves with indications of tax identity theft, and take preventative measures.”
Tax identity theft can take various forms, including using another person’s Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax return, earning wages under another person’s Social Security number, using a deceased taxpayer’s information to claim a tax refund and claiming another parent’s child or children as dependents. A victim of tax identity theft may experience significant delays in receiving a tax refund, or may receive additional attention from the IRS, if multiple tax returns are filed in the victim’s name.
Taxpayers can take several actions to minimize their risk of tax identity theft. These might include selecting professional tax preparers carefully, filing tax returns as early as possible, storing copies of tax returns and related financial information in a secure place and shredding any financial documents before disposing of them. Taxpayers should also monitor their bank accounts and review financial statements regularly, and be concerned about bank statements on accounts they did not open.
For more information regarding tax identity theft, visit the FTC website here. The FTC also provides tips for avoiding and detecting tax identity theft, as well as complaint assistance for any persons who suspect they are victims of tax identity theft. Nevadans can also file complaints regarding identity theft with the Nevada Attorney General’s office here.