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7 On Your Side: What to do if a thief steals your tax refund

7 ON YOUR SIDE (ABC7 file photo)

There are less than two weeks left to file 2017 tax returns. And as we hit the home stretch of filing season more consumers will be filing their returns.

With all the data breaches in 2017, some consumers may get a letter back from the IRS telling them they have already filed their return for 2017.

On Tuesday, the FTC and IRS announced a new initiative that will make it easier for victims to report Tax ID Theft to the IRS.

Prior to this announcement victims of Tax ID Theft had to file IRS Form 14039 manually. By using identitytheft.gov to file an Identity Theft Affidavit with the FTC, victims can now also file IRS Form 14039 electronically. It will be the only place consumers can file the form online. This should speed up the response and recovery process for consumers.

It often takes up to six months for a consumer to correct a fraudulently filed return and get the refund they are due.

The FTC is a law enforcement agency and obtaining ID Theft Affidavit thru identitytheft.gov is accepted by many institutions as a police report. The site also provides victims with a personalized recovery plan.

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