What To Do If Your Tax Refund is Stolen ?

Tax Refund Stolen
Tax Refund Stolen

Due to increase in fraudulent tax refund practices, you might fear that your tax refund might get stolen or is it already stolen. Whether your refund was stolen or destroyed, you might reach to the conclusion that all is lost. Well, so is not the case. You can protect your tax refund from cons before and after filing by taking some informed steps. Here is what you can do:

Is your Tax Refund really stolen? Check the status

The first thing you should do is to check the refund status to make sure whether refund is actually stolen or not. It can be possible that while you are expecting the refund, it’s actually not been deposited. The amount of time you must wait for the refund depends on the method of filing. If you’ve filed electronically, then wait for one week and if you’ve send it via mail, then wait at least for three weeks. After this you must visit the state’s tax website to check under the ‘Where’s my refund?’ section. Provide them with the information required and you’ll know the refund status.

Tax Refund Stolen
Tax Refund Stolen

Tax is stolen. What next?

If the website informs that you should’ve received the tax refund, but you haven’t then you should request the IRS to launch an investigation or request them to replace the check. Let us see how.

Tax refund is stolen
Tax Refund is Stolen

Request to replace the check

Once you request them to replace the check, the agency will start the process of tracking the current status of tax refund, trying to find out its whereabouts. The agency will find the check that was issued earlier and find out if it was cashed by anyone. The agency will then ask you to fill a form identical to form 3911. The form will start a paper trail stating that you’ve not received the paper check. Once the location of the check is confirmed, the agency will issue a new tax refund check.

Request to launch an investigation

As a taxpayer, you can even request the agency to launch an investigation, in case you fear that your identity has been stolen along with the refund. The agency will then move forward to confirm the identity of the taxpayer and track down the thief to recover the refund. The entire process usually takes 180 days, but in some cases victims have to wait a little longer. In some exceptional cases, if the fraud goes undetected, you may have to take a legal action as well.

Request to launch an investigation
Request to launch an investigation

Tax experts suggest that, taxpayers must get tax account transcript from the IRS, which lists everything under Social Security number. Taxpayers must also pay attention to various tax scams and must stay informed by visiting the IRS website on regular basis.

From past many years IRS has been trying to put an end to tax fraud practices and has been able to achieve good results so far. But taking informed steps on time will not only help the taxpayer but the agency as well in achieving its goal.

About Author:– Olivia Grey is a marketing professional and is very much interested in reading and writing. She loves to share useful information from her observation and experience. Follow her on twitter @OliviaGrey8. If you are looking for assistance in paying your taxes, 1040extension.com allows you to file your extension online.

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