Identity Theft and Refund Fraud
Identity theft occurs when someone fraudulently obtains or uses your personal information, such as your name, social security number, or credit card number. The Department of Revenue is committed to taxpayer security and preventing refund fraud. In calendar years 2015 and 2016, the Department has stopped over $100 million in fraudulent tax refunds.
In January 2016, the Department implemented some new security measures to ensure refunds are issued to legitimate taxpayers. A few of the measures are mentioned below:
- Taxpayers have the option to include driver’s license information when electronically filing their Missouri return. This information is used as an additional identifier to authenticate a tax return. Returns are not rejected if an individual fails to include this information, but the information does make our process more efficient while providing increased assurance that tax refunds are directed to legitimate filers.
- The Department is also sending out refund checks to some taxpayers even if they requested direct deposit. Sending refund checks helps prevent the Department from inadvertently sending a taxpayer’s refund to a bank account controlled by a criminal.
- Steps to Take to Prevent Identity Theft
- Missouri Attorney General Consumer Alert
- IRS Link - Tax-Security-Together
- IRS Link - Security Awareness Tax Tips
- IRS News Release -W-2 Phishing Scam
Steps to Take to Prevent Identity Theft:
- Protect financial documents. Shred any documents that have names, addresses, social security numbers, or bank information.
- Don't carry social security cards. Store them in a secure location.
- Don't provide social security numbers unless necessary and only to trusted sources.
- Check credit reports annually for free by directly contacting the three credit report agencies:
- Protect personal computers by using firewall protection, anti-spam/virus software, update security patches and change passwords frequently for Internet accounts.
- Only use a secure connection on the Internet when sending credit card numbers or other personal information. Website addresses will begin with "https," indicating that the connection is secure.
- E-file taxes online and as early as possible. This is the safest way to file your taxes. You can learn more about filing online here.
If you are a victim of identity theft that affects your tax records, or have experienced an event that may affect your tax records in the future, you should take the following steps:
- Report the incident to the Missouri Department of Revenue by completing Form 5593 (Identity Theft Declaration) and sending a scanned copy of the form (and required documentation) to the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can also be sent to the Department at the below address (or by fax at 573-522-4848):
(Note: Providing a completed Form 5593 and required documentation will expedite the Department's review of your account.)
Missouri Department of Revenue
Attn: Identity Theft
PO Box 3366
Jefferson City, Missouri 65105-3366
- File a report with the local police.
- Contact the Internal Revenue Service.
- Identity Theft Affidavit (Form 14039)
- IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit: 1-800-908-4490
- Report the incident to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.
- Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission.
- Identity Theft Information
- FTC Fraud Contact Number: 1-877-438-4338
- Request your free annual credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
- Call the three credit reporting bureaus below and place a fraud or security freeze on your credit file.