Did you know that taxpayers can encounter identity theft involving their tax returns in several ways?
Here are some key tax season identity protection tips.
The Internal Revenue Service takes every precaution to protect taxpayers and help victims of identity theft and refund fraud, but taxpayers should also take steps to mitigate tax season identity theft.
Identity thieves can compromise your identity by trying to file fraudulent refund claims using your identifying information. Innocent taxpayers are victimized because their refunds are delayed.
What are some of the signs that your identity has been compromised during tax filing? If more than one tax return for you has been filed, if IRS records indicate you received more wages than you actually earned, or if your state or federal benefits were reduced or cancelled because the agency received information reporting an income change, you might have had your identity stolen.
Protect Yourself This Tax Season
Be careful with emails claiming to be the IRS. The IRS never contacts taxpayers by email or social media to request personal or financial information. If you receive such a communication, report it to the IRS by forwarding it to email@example.com.
The same goes for phone calls. Scammers often call claiming to be an IRS agent and threatening you with arrest or deportation if you don’t pay, or they ask for your financial information so they can send you a refund. Text messages purporting to be from the IRS are also a scam.
This should go without saying, but it’s never a good idea to carry your social security card in your wallet. Keep this card and any other document that shows your social security number in a safe place.
Keep tabs on your tax return history as well. You can find a record of your past tax returns on the Get Transcript page on IRS.gov. You can request multiple years if you are concerned someone has filed a return in your name.
Of course, don’t hang onto old tax records if the retention period has been met, just don’t throw these documents in the trash! Legal Shred is an expert in shredding laws that can assist you with properly destroying old tax documents. With mobile and offsite shredding options, Legal Shred offers secure and safe tax record shredding, thereby mitigating any and all tax season security risks.
Contact us today to discuss your paper shredding needs.
Other Legal Shred tax season identity protection resources:
- The Legal Shred Identity Theft Survival Guide
- Identity Theft Statistics – ID Theft Hits All-time High in 2016
- The Various Types of Identity Theft