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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

Help for a Taxpayer Whose Brother Stole His Identity

Every year, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer’s tax issues. All personal details are removed to protect the taxpayer’s privacy.



While a taxpayer was out of the country, his brother stole his identity and used his Social Security number to file a tax return. The IRS audited the return, filed a lien against the taxpayer’s property, and took part of his refunds to pay the balance due (that showed on the bogus return the brother filed).

The taxpayer provided his original passport that proved he was out of the country when the fraudulent return was filed and audited. He also provided a copy of his brother’s driver’s license showing his name, but with his brother’s picture. TAS worked to get the assessment removed from the taxpayer’s account but the IRS denied the request multiple times, stating the taxpayer knew the person using his identity. The Case Advocate did not give up and continued to advocate by elevating the case. Ultimately, the IRS agreed to reverse the assessment and issue a refund to the taxpayer.

Learn more about identity theft.

If you need information on a specific tax topic, visit the TAS Get Help resource. It offers a step-by step guide on what you can do to settle some IRS issues on your own, what your taxpayer rights are and other options available to help you get resolution. Most issues can be resolved directly by working with the IRS. However, if you have tried, but are still unable to resolve an IRS issue, learn more about whether TAS can help you: TAS eligibility.

When working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, each individual or business taxpayer is assigned to an advocate who listens to the problem and helps the taxpayer understand what needs to be done to resolve their tax issue. TAS advocates will do everything they can to help taxpayers and work with them every step of the way. Occasionally we feature stories of taxpayers and advocates who work together to resolve complex tax issues. Read more TAS success stories.