Tax Return Identity Theft Steps to take to avoid becoming a victim.

Here are tips to ensure you are not a victim.


Individual Tax Identification Numbers

Processing delays are likely for filers with expired Individual Tax Identification Numbers. (ITIN)

There are two reasons an ITIN would expire December 31, 2016:

  • If you have not used your ITIN on a U.S. tax return at least once for tax years 2013, 2014 or 2015   -OR- 
  • If your ITIN has the middle digits 78 or 79 (9NN-78-NNNN or 9NN-79-NNNN)

What You Need to Do

  • You can renew your ITIN now if it expired and you plan to use it on your 2016 U.S. tax return. 
  • No action is needed by expired ITIN holders who don't need to file a tax return for year 2016. 
  • There are new documentation requirements when applying for or renewing an ITIN for certain dependents. 
  • To avoid delays, ensure accurate W-7 and valid ID documents are submitted. 
  • Find more information at


Expecting a refund? Some refunds must be held until February 15.

According to a new tax law change, the IRS cannot issue refunds before February 15 for tax returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.

    • This applies to the entire refund, even the portion not associated with these credits.
  • The IRS will begin to release EITC/ACTC refunds starting February 15. However, the IRS cautions taxpayers that these refunds likely won't arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of February 27


What You Need to Do

  • Be careful not to count on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying other financial obligations.
  • You don't need to wait until February 15 to file your tax return. While the IRS must hold the refund until February 15, it will begin taking the steps it normally does to process your tax return once the filing season starts.  
  • File a complete and accurate return and include all known refundable credits with your original return.
  • Check Where's My Refund on or the IRS mobile app, IRS2Go, after February 15 for your personalized refund status.

Adjusted Gross Income

Some taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need to know their 2015 Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI, to e-file their 2016 tax return.

  • When self-preparing your taxes and filing electronically, you must sign and validate your electronic tax return by entering your prior-year AGI or your prior-year Self-Select PIN. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option.

What You Need to Do

  • If you have a copy of your 2015 federal income tax return, your AGI is on line 37 of the Form 1040; line 21 on the Form 1040-A or line 4 on the Form 1040-EZ.x 
  • Learn more about how to verify your identity and electronically sign your tax return at  Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

Protecting Taxpayers

To better protect taxpayers, the IRS recently upgraded its identity verification process for certain online self-help tools. The purpose is to prevent taxpayer impersonations and account takeovers by identity thieves.

  • All IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC) now operate by appointment only. 
  • Many questions can be resolved on the website without visiting a TAC.

What You Need to Do

  • Start with for help including tools, filing options and other services and resources. 
  • If you believe your tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone, always check for days and hours of service as well as services offered at the IRS TAC location you plan to visit. For most services you must call to make an appointment.

(All information listed above was gathered from the website.)

For all AMJ Bookkeeping existing tax clients, we will ensure your return is as safe as we can make it.  We will take all necessary steps to expedite the return safely and effectively. 

If you are an individual seeking a reliable company to file your tax return, please consider AMJ Bookkeeping and give a call to set up your appointment or email us today. 


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