Anyone who is a victim of identity theft might turn to a new web site from the state Department of Taxation and Finance that spells out what to do next.
The web page at http://www.tax.ny.gov/help/contact/identity_theft.htm also provides several links to information, such as the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/fs-12-08.pdf) that help taxpayers make identity protection part of their regular routine.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing economic crimes in the nation, but taxpayers often don’t realize their information has been stolen until they receive an unexpected notice about their tax account from the Tax Department or the IRS.
“If you’re a New York State taxpayer and find yourself in this situation, contact us right away,” said Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox. “We have a process in place to help protect you and minimize further damage that identity theft can cause.”
Once identity theft is reported to the Tax Department, the agency can correct an account by removing any fraudulent returns from the record, and it can cancel bills issued that are related to the fraud. To head-off any additional suspicious activity, the department will devote extra attention to future returns associated with the account, according to Mattox.
“We are continually on high alert when it comes to identity theft, and we are dedicating more resources to protecting taxpayers’ information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure,” Mattox said. “But we can’t say it enough: Treat all your personal information with care.”