Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a taxpayer’s stolen social security sumber (SSN) to file a tax return and claims a fraudulent refund. Taxpayers are normally not aware this has occurred until they attempt to file their own tax returns. Once they learn they are victims, these taxpayers are left with the difficulty of clearing their names and providing documentation as proof of identity.
Unfortunately, anyone with a SSN can be the victim of tax-related identity theft. Adults who file taxes; adults who do not file taxes. Even children and the deceased can have their SSNs stolen and used to claim a fraudulent refund.
Thieves can steal an individual’s identity using card-skimming devices, unsecure Wi-Fi networks, stolen mail, data breaches, computer viruses, unsafe smartphone applications, or by hacking email accounts to obtain log-in passwords and financial data. Thieves also use phishing schemes or false pretenses to obtain personal information via fake websites or scams over email and phone.
The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) takes identity theft seriously, and efforts to combat tax refund fraud continue to be a priority. These efforts lengthen processing times of tax returns and refunds, but are necessary in order to minimize tax-related identity theft. If a taxpayer submits an Arizona tax return via e-file and chooses direct deposit of a tax refund, the individual can check the status of the refund by visiting ADOR's “Where’s my Refund?” link.
For assistance with your tax return or refund, Customer Care is available to help you. Call 602-255-3381 or toll-free in Arizona 1-800-352-4090.
If you think you are the victim of tax-related identity theft, notify the Arizona Department of Revenue Identity Theft Call Center by calling (602) 716-6300 or out of state 1-844-817-9691.