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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

Helping a Family Deal with a Stolen 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.



When a husband and wife were billed for taxes resulting from an IRS assessment under the husband’s Social Security number, they were shocked, because the taxpayers did not receive taxable income for that year and had not filed a tax return. When the taxpayers contacted the IRS, they were unable to secure an explanation of the assessment and were advised they had unreported income in subsequent tax years as well. After the taxpayers contacted TAS, the Case Advocate established that the taxpayers had not earned the income in question. In fact, it was earned by numerous other individuals who had been using the husband’s identity for multiple years. After an investigation, the individuals responsible for the identity theft were identified, and the accounts of all the parties were corrected.

Read 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.