Identity Theft Targets Unemployment Benefits

IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for identity theft this tax filing season.

WIth an uptick in unemployment benefits filed in 2020, this opened the door of opportunity for scammers. Taxpayers should file a tax return claiming only the income they actually received, the IRS advises, as identities have been targeted by thieves in order to steal unemployment benefits by those who never truly filed for them in the first place. 

Last year, unemployment took a sharp spike due to the COVID-19 pandemic after businesses were forced to reduce workforces or shut down entirely; thus, resulting in a flux of unemployment benefits sought out by US citizens. By law, unemployment benefits are taxable, so many individuals will be seeing this tax in their filings this year if they filed for unemployment benefits in 2020. Because of this influx in unemployment benefit filings, scammers seized the opportunity by filing fraudulent claims in order to receive unemployment compensation. To do so, they stole personal information from individuals who had not filed claims. 

As always, look over your forms and documents carefully. If you receive an incorrect Form 1099-G, contact the issuing state agency to request a revised form. If unable to get a timely, corrected form from states, file an accurate tax return that reflects the income that was actually received in 2020. Do not claim any fraudulent unemployment compensation. File any documentation showing your attempt at receiving a corrected Form 1099-G from the appropriate state agency. 

Think you’re a victim of identity theft?

If you’ve received an incorrect Form 1099-G, you do not need to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Only file an affidavit if the e-filed return is rejected because the return using the same Social Security number has already been filed. 

To protect your personal information when filing your returns, you have the option of requesting an identity protection PIN from the IRS. When filing with your CTBK service team, all documentation is safe with our chosen secure platforms: Sharefile, TaxCaddy, and SafeSend. To learn more about these platforms or to address any concerns regarding your tax filing, contact your service team provider. 

For more information about the signs of identity theft, visit the IRS’ Identity Theft Central webpage.

Get started filing today!

If you have yet to begin your tax filing process, contact CTBK to get you started on the right track with a safe, secure, and simple e-filing process. To learn more, visit ctbk.com or call our office at 716-630-2400. 

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