03 Feb Identity Theft Manifesting Itself Through Surprise Arrival of IRS Form 1099-C from Collection Agencies Reporting Cancelled Debt as Income
Identity Theft Manifesting Itself Through Surprise Arrival of IRS Form 1099-C from Collection Agencies Reporting Cancelled Debt as Income
I’ve been asked 3 times in the last 24 hours or so about how and why an IRS 1099-C form was received when one was not expected because no debts were cancelled. The IRS 1099-C form is used by qualified lenders to report to the IRS as Income the Cancellation of a tax payer’s debt, presuming debt was cancelled.
Unfortunately I’m sad to report that this is the time of the year when many taxpayers find out through mysterious ways such as unsuspecting arrivals in the mail of IRS form 1099-C from a collection agency that they have been a victim of identity theft. If this happens to you this is what I recommend.
First contact the issuer of the 1099-C and explain that you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft because the 1099-C was issued incorrectly. Depending upon the agency you can expect a wide range of responses from radio silence to actually offering assistance and direction in seeking relief.
If you get an uncooperative or reticent response then insist in writing that a ‘corrected 1099-C’ be issued by a specific date. If you find the issuer still uncooperative then you should submit a copy, not the original documents, of your valid Federal or State issued identification, such as a social security card, driver’s license, or passport, etc, along with a copy of a police report and/or a completed IRS Identity Theft Affidavit – Form 14039 .
Send these documents to the IRS using one of the following options: Mailing address: Internal Revenue Service P.O. Box 9039 Andover, MA 01810-0939. FAX: Note that this is not a toll-free FAX number 1-978-247-9965. You should also contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free 1-800-908-4490 for guidance. Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. your local time
If you suspect fraud on behalf of the issuer of the 1099-C complete IRS Form 3949-A. You may fill out IRS Fraud Info Referral Form 3949-A online, print it and mail it to: Internal Revenue Service Fresno, CA 93888. Although you are not required to identify yourself, it is helpful to do so. Your identity can be kept confidential.
You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft. Or, you can call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261. The FTC website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft.
It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft. Also, you should see if the crime you are a victim of is related to any cyber crime as well and consider filing an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov .
The IC3 gives victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. IC3 sends every complaint to one or more law enforcement or regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over the matter.
IC3’s mission is to receive, develop and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes.
The IC3 reflects a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. I would research all of these sites. You also should monitor your credit report periodically. Free credit reports are available online at www.annualcreditreport.com.
For more information on this contact me.