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ID theft may keep taxpayers from refund

It is tax time and a growing number of people are finding out they are the victims of identity theft and can not get their tax refunds.

Jazmin Wilson of Snellville had her identity stolen last year and now she cannot get her refund.

"It's frustrating to me that the IRS doesn't want to help you," says Wilson.

She says they told her that there is nothing they can do and it is going to take a while for her to get her refund.

Lori Silverman in WSB/Clark Howard's Consumer Action Center says typical cases like this one take about 180 days to resolve.

"Due to the complexity of the situation this is a time consuming process," says Silverman.

The Internal Revenue Service has seen so many Identity fraud cases they have been forced to bring in extra people to work the cases.  The IRS more than doubled the level of employees dedicated to working identity theft cases between 2011 and 2012.  The IRS has more than three thousand employees working on ID theft issues.

Victims of identity theft who have previously been in contact with the IRS and have not resolved their case should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490.  If you have not gotten the issue resolved and are having financial difficulties contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service toll-free at 877-777-4778.

Silverman in Clark Howard's Consumer Action Center says the best way to protect yourself from Identity theft is to put a freeze on your credit.

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