Tax ID Theft Delays Some Md., Va. Refunds - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Tax ID Theft Delays Some Md., Va. Refunds

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RHODESDALE, Md.- Thieves armed with Social Security numbers are walking away with bogus tax returns and taxpayers' hard-earned money.

"You file everything and you get the reject notice. What happened? Why did this get rejected? Everything is completed, everything is filled out," said Nikki Welzel, of Rhodesdale.

When Welzel filed her tax return, she found out she was a victim of tax identity theft.

"It was rejected five times," Welzel said. "I tried it with the pin, without the pin, I tried switching it around for myself to be the taxpayer, my husband to be the taxpayer. It did not matter."

Not one bit. In fact, you could cross your t's and dot your i's, making sure everything is just right, and still get hit hard by tax identity thieves.

"It's hard to really swallow because you don't know it's going to happen," Welzel said.

Tax experts say it could happen to just about anyone, even Welzel, who is an accountant.

"It worries you. It really does," Welzel said. "Why do I have to deal with this every single year to file my return?"

She isn't alone. The Internal Revenue Service says about one million other taxpayers are in the same boat. But there is some hope.

To keep your identity safe, identity theft experts say you should use a special identification number which is issued by the IRS.

And if it happens to you, senior tax advisor Suzanne Kyger said you should call the IRS and file an identity theft claim.

Experts from the IRS and the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center say there are things you can do to avoid getting your identity stolen:

  • Leave your Social Security card at home.
  • Don't give a business or even a doctor your Social Security number. They don't need it.
  • Shred the mail. Scammers get started with your basic information.
  • Get your credit report (and one for your children) every 12 months.

RESOURCE LINKS:

IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit
1-800-908-4490

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