Missoula County Sheriff's detectives took a report this week from a couple who discovered they were victims of identity theft when they attempted to file their income tax returns.

Detective Lieutenant Scott Newell said the couple discovered the theft when they asked their CPA to file their 2014 state and federal  income tax returns.

"They filed all their paperwork and several weeks later, their CPA contacted them and said the Montana Department of Revenue told them their tax return had already been filed," Newell said. "They also said a federal refund had already been issued for $9,000 to some unknown suspect."

Newell said the couple is working with the IRS and the Montana Department of Revenue to discover who may have stolen their identities, filed false returns and collected thousands of dollars in illegal refunds.

Newell encourages taxpayers to do everything possible to protect their identities.

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