Why did I get an error message about a duplicate return?

Modified on Wed, 24 Jan 2024 at 04:24 PM

A duplicate return message may happen if the IRS has accepted a tax return already with your social security number listed. 

  • According to the IRS, you should first confirm that you have entered the correct social security number on your tax return. 

  • Once you have confirmed that your social security number is correct, then check to make sure that you did not file your tax return elsewhere on another tax platform or with another preparer.

  • Please refer to this link from the IRS website for more information regarding a duplicate filing: Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft

I am positive that I did not file a tax return elsewhere, now what do I do?

  • If you have confirmed that someone else filed with your information, the IRS recommends to first complete Form 14039. Form 14039 is an identity theft affidavit. This will notify the IRS that someone has enough of your personal information to file a tax return on your behalf fraudulently.

  • Once you complete Form 14039, the IRS recommends that you print out your tax return, attach the filled-out affidavit, and mail it directly to the IRS. You can locate the appropriate office to mail it to using this link: Where to File Paper Tax Returns with or without a Payment 

Per the IRS, if you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must file a paper return.


If you believe someone has filed a fraudulent return in your name, you can get a copy of the return. See Instructions for Requesting a Copy of Fraudulent Returns for more information.


Please contact the IRS Helpline for further information. The IRS Helpline contact information can be found here: Contact IRS for More Information | Internal Revenue Service.


Additional next steps


This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax, legal, financial, accounting, or other advice. Rules and regulations vary by location and are subject to change, so please consult with an expert if you need advice specific to you.


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