On Monday, March 22, the U.S. Department of Labor launched a new website to assist victims of unemployment fraud in filing reports.
Victims may have only recently become aware of stolen unemployment benefits during the tax season as unemployment agencies have begun issuing 1099-G tax forms, which report annual unemployment income. If you have received this tax form indicating you received unemployment benefits, but you never collected them, you may be a victim of unemployment fraud.
The new Labor Department website offers a directory with each state’s contact method for reporting this type of unemployment fraud.
The IRS also launched a separate website in February as a resource for victims of unemployment-related identity theft.
What To Do:
Ultimately, scammed taxpayers won’t have to pay taxes on unemployment benefits they did not receive. However, victims must report the fraud to the state where the theft occurred.
Also, taxpayers should not wait to receive the corrected 1099-G tax form after they reported the fraud to the appropriate agency. Instead, taxpayers should file their taxes with the correct amount of unemployment income, if any.
Those who have already filed a tax return should not file an amended tax return. According to the Department of Labor, the IRS will issue additional guidance for such people.
Finally, victims should check their credit report for suspicious activity and report unemployment-related identity theft to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud.