‘It was very shocking’: Congressman Renacci works to protect others after becoming victim of identity theft

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WADSWORTH, Ohio -- Nine times out of ten when someone sends in their tax forms electronically or on paper there are no problems.

So imagine the surprise Congressman Jim Renacci felt when he got a notice from the IRS that they needed more information on a 2014 tax return that he hadn't filed yet.

“After I notified the IRS and got in contact with them I realized that somebody had filed a return with my name and my wife's name and our social security numbers and information and it was very shocking," said Renacci, U.S. Representative for Ohio's 16th congressional district.

The thieves even had a W-2 form from U.S. Congress that contained a fake version of the congressman's tax information. The IRS canceled the bogus return and Renacci had to refile.

Each year, billions of taxpayer dollars are lost and thousands and thousands of families have to prove to the federal government that they are who they say they are, and that includes congressmen.

“The IRS is getting thousands and thousands of phone calls. I had to go through that same process. People thought, 'wow, you had to do the same thing? And I said yes; I did,' and ultimately when I had to realize there should be a direct connection when it comes to identity theft."

And that direct connection came from Renacci's bill that's now law.

It creates a more direct process for taxpayers to deal with identity theft issues with the IRS.
It also gets rid of the 45-day gap between the time taxpayers get their W-2 and the IRS gets its copy from employers.

“We made it so that the IRS can track it quicker. They have the W-2 as soon as the individual gets the W-2 and files the return."

Renacci said if you have questions or issues, speak out and seek out help.
“I hear about it as a general idea; now I’m hearing about it more as a specific, and saying, 'hey that happened to me.'"

*CLICK HERE for much more on identity theft protection from Congressman Renacci*

*CLICK HERE for more on identity theft*