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One Nevada encourages taxpayers to fight back against tax fraud (sponsored)

By One Nevada Credit Union
Published: Last Updated on

With tax season upon us, ID theft is on the rise once again and One Nevada Credit Union would like to advise the community to be careful to avoid scammers. While it’s difficult to stop the fraudsters entirely, people should remain vigilant and understand the latest tactics, including unemployment and tax refund fraud.

Unemployment Fraud

With record numbers of Nevadans applying for unemployment, the scammers have found a way to use it as an opportunity to fill their own pockets. Even if someone did not file for unemployment benefits last year, they might receive notices from the state saying they owe thousands of dollars in taxes on unemployment benefits they never received. 

This scam most often occurred where unemployment insurance systems were overwhelmed by a flood of fraudulent claims. The scammers typically use stolen identity data to claim benefits and then have the funds credited to an online account that they control.

States were required to send out 1099-G forms reporting taxable income by Jan. 31, and under federal law, unemployment benefits are considered taxable income. If Nevada taxpayers received a 1099-G form for unemployment benefits they never received, they need to go to www.detr.nv.gov and select Unemployment Fraud to start a fraud report and file a 1099-G Correction Request.  

Tax Refund Fraud

Tax refund fraud involves the use of identity information and often stolen or misdirected W-2 forms to electronically file an unauthorized tax return to claim a refund under another person’s name. Most victims only learn of the crime after having their returns rejected. Even if a person is not required to file a tax return, they can be a victim of refund fraud, as can those not expecting a refund from the IRS. 

The best way to avoid tax refund fraud is to file tax returns as early as possible. Additionally, taxpayers can also get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) from the IRS. The IRS has sought to stem the flow of fraudulent tax refund applications by issuing an IP PIN, which is a six-digit number assigned to taxpayers that helps prevent the use of their social security number on a fraudulent tax return. The IP PIN is only good for the tax year for which it is issued.

To get an IP PIN from the IRS, go to irs.gov and register for an Online Services Account, once an IRS account has been established, the taxpayer can log in and request an IP PIN. After following the prompts, the site will display a six-digit IP PIN that will need to be included on the federal return before it can be accepted. Be sure to print out the IP PIN and save it in a secure place. 

It’s important to take extra precautions this time of year to avoid scams, always be on the lookout, never give out personal information or respond to unknown callers, texts, or emails you might receive.

For additional tax fraud alerts and information visit https://www.irs.gov/compliance/criminal-investigation/tax-fraud-alerts.

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