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AG Nessel Re-Issues Tax Identity Theft Alert, Urges Residents to File Taxes Early and Stay Informed During Tax Season and Beyond

LANSING – Tax season is upon us, and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel encourages Michigan residents to file their taxes early to help prevent tax-related identity theft and is reissuing tax season consumer alerts to ensure consumers are better prepared to protect their personal information. 

“My office wants to ensure that Michigan residents are equipped with the necessary tools to spot and stop thieves this tax season and beyond,” said Nessel. “Education and awareness are the best tools we have to fight against bad actors looking to take advantage of Michigan residents.”  

Tax-related Identity Theft occurs when someone uses stolen personal information – including, but not limited to, an individual’s Social Security number (SSN) – to file a phony tax return and claim another person’s refund. 

The IRS is often the first to inform victims that their identity has been stolen. Nessel’s advice to help consumers protect themselves and avoid being a victim includes: 

  • Filing your tax return as early as you can, before identity thieves have the opportunity to do so. 
  • Not giving out your SSN unless there’s a good reason, you’re confident you’re giving it to someone authorized to request this information, and you know how they will protect it. 
  • Using a secure internet connection if you’re filing electronically. 
  • Sending your tax return directly from the post office if you’re filing by mail. 
  • Thoroughly researching a tax preparer before handing over your personal information and never sending your personal information in a text or email. 
  • Reviewing the IRS’ informational guides, like their Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft and Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers

The Attorney General is also reissuing the IRS Phone and Email Tax Scams Alert to remind consumers the IRS will never call taxpayers to: 

  • Threaten arrest; 
  • Request payment by wire transfer, gift card, or prepaid debit card; or 
  • Ask you to provide credit card information over the phone. 

For residents who find they owe money after filing, the Debt Collectors & the IRS and Tax Debt Resolution Scams alerts include valuable information to avoid falling for a debt collection scam.

Businesses are not immune from tax-season scams or identity theft. Small and midsize business owners are encouraged to know the signs and watch for common tactics and signs during tax season and year-round. 

Nessel encourages those who find they are victims of any type of identity theft to follow the steps recommended by the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint.

If an individual’s SSN is compromised and tax-related identity theft is suspected, the IRS recommends that consumers:

  • Immediately contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490; 
  • Respond immediately to any IRS notice; 
  • Complete the IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit (also available online through IRS Publication 5027: Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers); 
  • Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return even if you must do so by paper; and 
  • REMEMBER: Even if a false refund is claimed and issued in your name, identity scammers do not actually steal your refund. If you are legally entitled to a tax refund, being a verified victim of tax-related identity theft will not change that. Your refund may be delayed, but you will, eventually, get your refund. 

Nessel continued. “Our Consumer Protection team is committed to investigating complaints. I encourage people to contact our office if you believe you have been the victim of tax-related identity theft, or any other consumer scam.” 

All of the above information and more is accessible on the AG’s Consumer Protection website. Follow the AG’s official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. The Department provides a library of resources for consumers to review anytime on a variety of topics

To file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information, contact: 

Consumer Protection Team 
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll-free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form


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