Equifax

Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter

 

Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

IRS Policy Change Aims to Help Victims of Identity Theft

Written by Equifax Reporter on April 15, 2016 in Tax  |   No comments

From 2011 through 2014, identity thieves submitted more than 19 million suspicious tax returns to the IRS for more than $63 billion in fraudulent refunds. But until recently, taxpayers weren’t allowed to see the fraudulent returns filed using their Social Security numbers (SSNs). That changed…

WorriedWomanFrom 2011 through 2014, identity thieves submitted more than 19 million suspicious tax returns to the IRS for more than $63 billion in fraudulent refunds. But until recently, taxpayers weren’t allowed to see the fraudulent returns filed using their Social Security numbers (SSNs).

That changed recently, thanks in part to a letter sent to the IRS by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who wrote to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen asking that identity theft victims be able to see tax documents related to the thefts.

“Victims of identity theft face significant emotional and financial hardships, and they shouldn’t be left in the dark about the extent of the theft,” Ayotte said in a public statement issued on her website after the IRS changed its policy. “This is a positive step that will help them protect themselves and their families.”

An identity thief may use someone’s SSN to file a tax return. If this happens, when the person actually goes to file, his or her refund will have already been distributed to the thief. This can cause additional serious issues for the victim, including difficulty in finding out where his or her private information was leaked.

With the IRS policy change, consumers will have a chance to get answers, says Aaron Blau, EA, CPA, of the Arizona Society of Enrolled Agents.

“It [offers] people ways to find out why or how their identity was stolen because with these documents, they can start to put the puzzle together,” Blau says. “It definitely helps the consumer to know where [ the theft] occurred.”

That information could, in turn, allow the consumer to track the loss of information and collect benefits. In the case of information being lost via a data breach, many affected companies will offer free identity theft protection products for consumers whose data may have been exposed.

The IRS policy change could help in another way, too: Although the forms will be heavily edited to protect sensitive information contained (even in fraudulent forms), partial bank routing numbers may still be visible.

“Most of the time, the thieves are taking advantage of the direct deposit capabilities; it’s the fastest way to get a refund transmitted,” Blau says. “With the documents in hand, the taxpayer or legal authority can say, ‘Here’s the name on the account, here’s the partial account number,’ and that may be enough to place a hold or a freeze on the bank account.”

In addition to helping spur the IRS policy change, Ayotte also is a cosponsor on the Social Security Identity Defense Act of 2015, introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) in May 2015. This would require the IRS to notify potential identity theft victims as well as law enforcement officials. The law would also add civil penalties and extend jail time for identity thieves.

“The big thing is just knowing what resources are available to you in the case of something happening,” Blau says.

If you’ve been a victim of identity theft and would like to request a copy of a fraudulent return filed using your SSN, go to www.irs.gov and follow the instructions.

Related Articles:
The Top Six Mistakes I Made After Tax Identity Theft
How to Help Prevent Tax Identity Theft
My Tax Refund was Stolen—What Should I Do?

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


No comments yet


Leave a Comment


Name :


Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.


Tax Archive