Don’t sit around guessing about your taxes and whether someone out there is stealing your identity. Did you know that you can access a majority of your tax-related information through the IRS website by requesting account transcripts?
Picture your tax account like a federal bank account. You prepare, file, and pay some taxes or get a refund (deposits/withdraws). Now, just like those bank accounts you maintain at a financial institution, you have the ability to get a statement summarizing important account information and transactions for your taxes with an account transcript.
Account transcripts provide line-by-line codes that signify account activity as well as wage and income reported to your social security number for a specific tax year. If you’ve filed your taxes, it shows the amount reported for special line items, such as how many exemptions you claimed, adjusted gross income, and so on. These can also serve as a great way to verify information on your W-2’s, 1099s, pensions, and other related income items. More importantly, however, you can use these transcripts to check whether a tax return has been filed for a particular year which can be especially useful in detecting potential identity theft.
Identity theft is a prevalent problem that can affect virtually any taxpayer. All it takes is for an identity thief to get a hold of a person’s Social Security number, file a return early on during the tax season so that the identity thief can claim a huge refund and have it delivered to the location of their choice before anyone finally notices. With the growth in popularity of e-filing, identity theft has become even easier to carry out since taxpayers are not required to include a W-2.
At the end of the day, nobody wants their identity stolen—especially behind their backs. Even if you have a CPA, attorney, or trusted tax preparer, you should still stay on top of your individual tax profile and create an account online at the IRS website. You have nothing to lose by signing up, but everything to gain. Visit the IRS website to get started: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript