IRS to combat tax fraud cases affecting dentists

Over the last year, CDA has heard from its members about a scam involving other individuals filing tax returns under members’ names. Other health professionals have reported being targeted as well.

This is just one of several tax scams CDA has been made aware of.

To combat this type of activity, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) joined earlier this month with representatives of tax preparation and software firms, payroll and tax financial product processors and state tax administrators to announce a collaborative effort to prevent identity theft refund fraud.

According to a statement, the IRS has identified new steps to validate taxpayer and tax return information at the time of filing. The effort will “increase information sharing between industry and governments. There will be standardized sharing of suspected identity fraud information and analytics from the tax industry to identify fraud schemes and locate indicators of fraud patterns. And there will be continued collaborative efforts going forward.”

For dentists who have fallen victim to tax return identity theft, below are a few steps to take in response:

  • Alert the IRS Identity Theft Protection Unit at 800.908.4490, complete Form 14039 and submit it to the IRS with any supporting documentation.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877.438.4338 and create an Identity Theft Report.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report with the three consumer reporting agencies (Equifax: 800.525.6285, Experian: 888.397.3742 and TransUnion: 800.680.7289).
  • File a report with local law enforcement.

For additional guidance, contact CDA Practice Support at 800.232.7645 or the TDIC Risk Management Advice Line at 800.733.0634. TDIC provides identity theft coverage for individual policyholders included in their professional liability coverage.

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One California dentist decided to share her story to warn other dentists of a relatively new hacking scheme. It is called “crypto-ransomware” and it attempts to extort money from victims by displaying an on-screen alert. These alerts often state that the computer has been locked or that all files have been encrypted, and demand that a ransom be paid to restore access.

CDA is aware of a tax return identity theft scheme that is targeting dentists and physicians. Initially, the fraud was reported by practitioners in other states, but it now seems that the scheme has made its way to California.