Action 9: Has someone filed taxes in your name?

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE - A former Mecklenburg County commissioner is trying to find out who filed taxes in his name maybe to get his refund.
 
Dan Bishop is a lawyer, used to serve on the County Commission, and is now running for the N.C. House seat Ruth Samuelson is giving up. 

When Bishop filed his taxes electronically, like he says he always does, the IRS and N.C. Dept. of Revenue both told him the same thing: someone already filed them in his name and around the same time.

"My first thought was that it was a glitch," he said.

Then, he realized maybe it wasn't a computer error, maybe it was a thief trying to get his refund because the wrong return said the refund should go to a certain bank account, one that isn't his.

"[It] was as a different bank account...routing number indicated it was a Wells Fargo bank account," he said. "We've never had a Wells Fargo bank account."

Action 9 ran a story about identity theft in tax cases, in January.

In one case, someone used one "victim's name, date of birth, and Social Security number" to file taxes in 2011 and she didn't find out until this year. In another report, the victim says someone used her information to file taxes in Texas.

Since then, Action 9 found a Concord case where the victim told police "someone filed a tax return with the IRS using her Social Security number" a few weeks ago. 
 
IRS spokesperson Mark Hanson urges people to be careful even with all of the safeguards in place.

"We are updating our computer systems all the time to add new filters to be able to try to detect different schemes that are out there, but for every 10 foot wall, there can be an 11 foot ladder," he said.

Action 9's Jason Stoogenke asked Bishop, "Are you all good now, are you OK, did you get your taxes in, have they accepted your taxes, will you get your refund?"

Bishop answered, "I think maybe the most frustrating thing about this for a lot of people, I imagine is you don't know."

If it happens to you, tell police, but also contact the IRS or N.C. Dept. of Revenue.