How to Prepare IRS Form 3949A

Internal Revenue Service Form 3949-A is used to report tax fraud and other tax law violations to the IRS. Fill out the IRS 3949A form with details about the alleged violation and mail it to the IRS and optionally include your name and contact information in case the IRS has follow-up questions. Check the instructions on the form to make sure it's the most appropriate one to use. If you want to request a reward for reporting fraud, consider using IRS Form 211 instead.

Filling Out Form 3949-A

You can use IRS Form 3949-A to report a person or business you suspect is violating tax law. You can download and print out Form 3949-A online, but you must file it by mail to the IRS.

Record whatever information you know about the person or business you suspect is breaking the law and your reasons for suspecting wrongdoing. Indicate what type of violation you suspect using checkboxes on the form. Options include claiming false deductions and exemptions, making money through organized crime, failing to report income and receiving illegal kickbacks for steering business a certain way.

Describe what you know about the apparent illegal behavior, attaching additional sheets of paper if you need to do so.

You can also provide information about yourself on the form in case the IRS has any follow-up questions, but you're not required to do so. You may wish to consult with a lawyer before filing the form.

Claiming a Reward

In some cases, you may be able to claim a reward for reporting wrongdoing to the IRS.

If you want to try to do so, you should fill out Form 211 rather than Form 3949-A. Specify the information you know about the alleged crime and how you learned about it and sign the form, indicating that you certify under legal penalty of perjury that the information is true.

You're not guaranteed to get a reward for reporting wrongdoing, and if you do receive one, it may take some time to see the funds. Keep in mind that you may face legal penalties yourself if you lie on the form or were involved in any legal violations yourself and that you may face repercussions from the person you're reporting since you can't file the form anonymously.

Consult a lawyer if you want help filling out the form or understanding the legal consequences of doing so.

As with Form 3949-A, you must file Form 211 by mail rather than reporting information to the IRS online or over the phone.

Other Forms for Reporting Wrongdoing

Other tax forms should be used for particular cases of reporting wrongdoing for the IRS.

For example, there are specialized tax forms for reporting identity theft, reporting misbehavior by a paid tax preparer and reporting wrongdoing by a nonprofit or tax-exempt organization. Many of these forms are listed and linked from the instructions to form 3949-A, which are included with the form.

If you've received a notice from the IRS about suspected fraud, follow the instructions on the form rather than filling out a new form.

Identity Theft and Tax Scams

If you've been the victim of identity theft involving the IRS, file IRS Form 14039. The IRS can provide you with a secure PIN you can use in the future to file your tax returns and prevent others from fraudulently claiming tax returns in your name.

If someone contacts you claiming to be from the IRS, be cautious. Fraudsters impersonate the IRS to falsely demand money from people over the phone or even by text message or email. Contact the IRS if you have any questions about the legitimacy of any message you get, especially one demanding immediate payment of purported back taxes.

Consider also putting a freeze on your account with the major credit reporting companies or making a report to the Federal Trade Commission if you have been the victim of identity theft.

References

About the Author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist with a background in technology and business. He has written for a variety of business publications including Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, Innovation Leader and Ad Age. He was awarded the Knight Foundation scholarship to Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.