Health professionals caught up in tax fraud scheme
A number of recent news reports have come out of several regions of the country about physicians who have been the latest victims of tax refund identify fraud during this year's tax filing period. The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) has seen a significant increase in refund fraud that involves thieves who file false tax returns by stealing and using an individual’s Social Security number. When the individual attempts to file his or her own legitimate tax return, it gets rejected because the thieves have already filed and collected on the false return. This year's scam has ensnared hundreds of physicians and other health care professionals across the country. In addition to the IRS, the Secret Service is leading an investigation of this year’s tax refund identity fraud. The American Medical Association (AMA) is working with Federal officials who are investigating this tax fraud scheme.
Physicians who are victims of this scam should have received a 5071C letter from the IRS with instructions to contact the IRS identity theft website. Physicians can also call the IRS at 1-800-830-5084 to inform agency officials that they did not file the return referred to in the IRS letter. If a physician did not receive a 5071C letter or has already received confirmation that their legitimate tax return was accepted, it is unlikely that he or she is a victim of this scam. Physicians who are victims will need to file a paper return if they have not already done so, and should attach a Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit to explain what happened. In addition, copies of any notices on this issue received from the IRS, such as the 5071C letter, should be attached.
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