Thomson Reuters has published a guide for tax professionals whose clients have been victimized by tax-related identity theft.

PPC’s Guide to Tax-Related Identity Theft covers various aspects of identity theft, from verification to monitoring and alerting the appropriate agencies and authorities, to help tax practitioners act on behalf of clients.

“The consequences of identity theft are often highly emotional and can be financially devastating, so affected people will naturally look to their professional advisors for assistance,” said Blake Smith, senior director of product development with the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters, in a statement. “If a client has become a victim of identity theft, practitioners can play a valued role in helping the client regain their tax identity.”

PPC’s Guide to Tax-Related Identity Theft provides guidance and aids to help practitioners identify and verify when identity theft has occurred, file identity theft complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the IRS, handle misuse of clients’ Social Security numbers, and resolve tax reporting issues.

After personal information is stolen, it can never be fully recovered so the guide also includes guidance on what practitioners and their clients should do once an ID theft matter has been resolved. The guide includes sample client letters and handouts, checklists, sample IRS forms, scripts for communicating with clients and the IRS, and more.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in America, with the number of incidents nearing 10 million a year. A recent Thomson Reuters survey found 92 percent of the tax professionals who responded said they have had a client who was the victim of tax-related identity theft.

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