How To Protect Yourself From Tax Fraud
What Has Been Going On This Tax Season?
The 2015 tax season is only a few weeks old and already we’ve seen the popular online tax service, Turbo Tax, suspend State tax returns because of a number of suspected fraudulent returns that took place as soon as the tax season began.
This is all coming off of a 2014 tax season that saw the IRS pay out over $5 billion, with a “B”, in fake returns last season.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Based on the annual growth of tax-related identity scams the IRS has been proactive in helping identify and try to head off many problems before they become severe.
The IRS has created a page featuring the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams that they’ve identified this tax season and how you can avoid them.
Things You Can Do To Avoid Tax-Related Identity Theft:
- Regularly monitor your credit for conspicuous activity on sites like annualcreditreport.com and freecreditreport.com.
- Shred mail that contains any kind of identifying info such as name, address, birth date or anything more specific like your social security or bank information.
- Make sure your mail doesn’t sit in the mailbox. Especially since some employers send W-2s in the mail and other tax-related mail may show up.
- Do your taxes early. If they’re done, no one will be able to file them again afterwards.
- If you do them online, make sure the site is wrapped in an SSL tag. Any site you leave personal information on, at a minimum, should have secure HTTPs access.
If you think you’ve been a target of tax-related identity theft, make sure you contact the IRS and fill out Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039.
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