The IRS is warning taxpayers about a current prevalent scam involving identify theft and unemployment benefits.
Some taxpayers are reporting that they have received 1099-G forms falsely stating they received unemployment benefits in 2020. This is likely a case of scammers using stolen personal information to file claims and should be reported, the IRS says.
Unemployment benefits are taxable, and taxpayers could potentially pay federal and state tax on that unreceived benefit if they don’t act to correct the record.
Scam victims should contact the issuing state agency to request a revised Form 1099-G showing they did not receive these benefits. In Pennsylvania, cases should be reported to the Office of Unemployment Compensation’s Fraud Report webpage. The page also has information on what to do if you received an unemployment check you didn’t file for and other related scenarios.
The IRS advises that taxpayers who are unable to obtain a timely, corrected form should still file an accurate tax return, reporting only the income they received.
Taxpayers do not need to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, with the IRS regarding an incorrect Form 1099-G, the IRS said. The identity theft affidavit should be filed only if the taxpayer's e-filed return is rejected because a return using the same Social Security number already has been filed.
Additionally, if taxpayers are concerned that their personal information has been stolen and they want to protect their identity when filing their federal tax return, they can request an Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) from the IRS here.
An Identity Protection PIN is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using a taxpayer's Social Security number. The IP PIN is known only to the taxpayer and the IRS, and this step helps the IRS verify the taxpayer's identity when they file their electronic or paper tax return.