Guidance on Identity Theft Involving Unemployment Benefits
In a recent announcement, the IRS urged taxpayers who received Forms 1099-G for unemployment benefits they did not actually get because of identity theft to contact their appropriate state agency for a corrected form.
States issue Forms 1099-G to the taxpayer and to the IRS to report what taxable income, such as refunds or unemployment benefits, were issued by state agencies.
AAFCPAs reminds clients that scammers took advantage of the pandemic by filing fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation using stolen personal information of individuals who had not filed claims. Read more. >>
The IRS advises taxpayers who receive an incorrect Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits they did not receive to contact the issuing state agency to request a revised Form 1099-G showing they did not receive these benefits. Taxpayers who are unable to obtain a timely, corrected form from states should still file an accurate tax return, reporting only the income they received. A corrected Form 1099-G showing zero unemployment benefits in cases of identity theft will help taxpayers avoid being hit with an unexpected federal tax bill for unreported income.
Know the Signs of Identity Theft
Taxpayers do not need to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, with the IRS regarding an incorrect Form 1099-G. The identity theft affidavit should be filed only if the taxpayer’s e-filed return is rejected because a return using the same Social Security number already has been filed.
Additionally, if taxpayers are concerned that their personal information has been stolen and they want to protect their identity when filing their federal tax return, they can request an Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) from the IRS.
An Identity Protection PIN is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using a taxpayer’s Social Security number. The IP PIN is known only by the taxpayer and the IRS, and this step helps the IRS verify the taxpayer’s identity when they file their electronic or paper tax return.