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If my entire tax return was somehow leaked, how bad would that be? What potentially harmful information is included other than my name and social security number?

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    It also depends if you're the former President of the US
    – Valorum
    Sep 3 at 13:25

2 Answers 2

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They would have access to information about your entire life. They have your name and SSN, but they also know:

  • the name and SSN of your spouse
  • the name and SSN of your children
  • the name of your employer. Plus how much you make
  • the same for your spouse.
  • the places you donate money and goods to
  • where you bank, including the account number.
  • where you have taxable investments.
  • If your kids are in college they will have the 1099 and 1098 for each of them, plus where they go.

Yes you can get some of this information from other sources, but all of it is in one pdf file. It can then be used to file state and federal returns as soon as the filing window opens next year. That fraudulent return will be sending a large refund to the scammer, which will also interfere with your ability to file your legitimate return.

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    Also, this is pretty much all you need for Spear Phishing attempt or two... Sep 2 at 16:58
  • How would they have your account number? IRS doesn't need to know that. Sep 3 at 1:09
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica How are they going to direct-deposit the refund into your account without it? (For some people this is just a matter of convenience; for others it's a basic necessity. The closest physical branch of my bank is literally over 1000 miles away; a paper check is worthless to me!) Sep 3 at 2:05
  • They send a paper check and you take it to a pink neon check cashing place, like others who are un-banked. Sep 3 at 3:01
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People don’t typically announce to the world what their salary is and prefer to keep private how much they make. I also remember having to use that information from the previous year to verify my identity for current-year tax filings, so it’s more than just a matter of being embarrassed about making rather little or a lot of money.

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