Your Stolen ID: A Taxing Problem

When it comes to protecting your personal identification, even the most vigilant among us can fall victim to computer criminals.

We’ve all heard about thieves breaking into the data records of various companies and stealing the personal information of thousands – sometimes millions – of customers. If you’re among those whose identity gets stolen, it can be a nightmare that takes months, and even years, to escape from. The troubles can even involve having problems filing a state or federal income tax return.

Ohio, and every state with an income tax, has been forced to implement additional safeguards to defend against thieves using stolen social security numbers (SSN) to file fraudulent income tax returns. Over the years, millions of dollars in fraudulent income tax refund returns have been stopped.

The problem of stolen refunds has diminished as states have toughened their defenses, but it could still happen to you. How will you know? The following may be signs that you are a victim of tax-related identity theft:

  • You receive an unexpected notice from the Ohio Department of Taxation, the IRS or another state income tax agency regarding a tax year for which you did not file a tax return or have a filing requirement.
  • You are notified that a tax return has already been filed using your SSN.
  • You receive a refund check for a tax year for which you did not file a tax return, or the refund is much larger than you requested.

If you do find your social security number was used to file a false return, our tax representatives will work with you to correct any issues that keep your tax return from being processed. Please be assured that if you are due a tax refund, you will receive it once the appropriate review has been completed. For more information or assistance, contact the Ohio Department of Taxation toll free at 1-800-282-1780 (1-800-750-0750 for persons who use text telephones (TTYs) or adaptive telephone equipment). You can also visit the Ohio Department of Taxation website at or the IRS web site for tips on how to protect yourself from ID theft and what to do if your personal identity is stolen.

Information courtesy of the Ohio Department of Aging