Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance

If You Believe You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

Identity theft places a burden on its victims and presents a challenge to businesses, organizations and government agencies. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen social security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.

Contact the following organizations:

Contact and place a "fraud alert" on your credit records with the three major credit bureaus: 

  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 
  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742 
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 

Don't Be A Victim Of A Fraudulent Tax Preparer: Beware Of These Warning Signs

Fraudulent Returns Filed with the State of Maryland

If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, and/or that a fraudulent Maryland or federal tax return was filed using your social security number, you may contact our office and a representative will assist you:

  • Taxpayer Service number is 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland and 1-800-638-2937 from elsewhere. 
  • Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM.  
  • You will need to contact the Internal Revenue Service for further information regarding the federal return at 1-800-829-1040 or refer online to https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Identity-Protection.

If a fraudulent Maryland return was submitted using your social security number:

  • The fraudulent filer had possession of your stolen social security number, and possibly additional information.  You may request a copy of the return by submitting Form 129.
  • The fraudulent filers typically file electronically using online tax software.
  • Refund requests are typically deposited into a pre-paid debit card account.
  • Please be advised that if you attempt to, you will NOT be able to submit your tax return using third party software. You may file using our free iFile system, file a paper return or visit one of our Branch Offices and have the return filed on your behalf. 

If you have received a letter from the Comptroller of Maryland advising you that an attempt was made to file a fraudulent return: 

  • it will not affect your valid return.  
  • we have removed the invalid return from your account, 
  • we have taken the appropriate steps to place an identity theft indicator on your social security number  (and your spouse's, if applicable) to ensure future filings are manually reviewed. NOTE:  This will cause a delay in processing future refunds, however, you can request us to remove the indicator.
  • You do NOT need to do anything further with the Comptroller's Office or send any additional documentation. Submission of the IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit will delay the processing of your return.

The Comptroller's Office has numerous business rules in place to assist in fraud and identity theft detection; however, the details are not information we share with the public.  The Comptroller's Questionable Return Detection Team, along with the Comptroller's Field Enforcement Bureau, are working together in trying to identify and forward for prosecution anyone that is identified as being involved with an identity theft case.