Amarillo, TX - The IRS is taking some extra time in getting tax returns back because of possible identity theft. It reports, this year, the problem is on the rise.
"The IRS announced they were going to be tweaking their computer systems to try to prevent identity theft and the filing of fraudulent tax returns, " Larry White with Brown and Graham Associates said. " If you are filing electronically, you should expect to receive your refund within 10 to 21 days." White said.
One way to prevent identity theft with tax refunds is filing your tax refunds early.
"When you get ready to file, you're probably going to find out there is a problem." White said. "So certainly, there earlier you file, the less likely it is someone is going to use your social security number to file a tax return."
If you try to file your taxes and learn that your are a victim, you will have to file a 10439 form. There is no clear time frame to get resolved, it could take weeks or months.
"One taxpayer that we know about that found out their social security number was being used improperly took it to law enforcement and it took officials about a week or so to determine it was being used in another part of the country by a person who was using their social security number." White said.
Experts say it is not an issue of filing your taxes online, it is in other circumstances -- like with IRS emails or phone calls -- that taxpayers need to watch out for red flags.