How To Secure Your Identity During Tax Season
According to the IRS, from 2011 to 2012 there was $14 billion to $20 billion jump in fraudulent refunds. The IRS has doubled it’s team working on identity theft related issues to over 3,000 employees to protect taxpayers from becoming victims.
Be Proactive With Your Information
There are some ways you can take the onus on yourself and stay relatively secure this upcoming tax season.
- Choose a tax preparer you trust
- IRS.gov has a list of things to consider before choosing who you want to do your taxes such as reviewing their history, making sure that they are readily available and confirming their qualifications.
- Secure your sensitive documents
- Don’t just put your old tax records in a drawer. Keep them somewhere safe and secure, such as a personal safe, that only you can get into. Also, never throw them away without being properly shredded.
- Watch out for scams
- The IRS keeps citizens updated on their website, and many scams make the news as soon as they’re discovered. If you hear about any identity theft related tax issues, do your homework. A quick search on the Internet can usually give you the basic information you need to help protect yourself.
- Don’t file from public wi-fi
- Sounds basic, right? USA.gov warns against free Wi-Fi attacks being ‘side jacked’ and having your personal information compromised on an unsecured connection.
How to Know If Your Tax Identity Has Been Stolen
If your identity has already been compromised or stolen, the IRS will notify you that a return based on your information has already been filed, or you have been paid wages from an employer that is not where you have worked.
If you find yourself in this situation contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit (800-908-4490) or visit the IRS.gov website.
What Can You Do To Keep Yourself Protected?
A surefire way you can protect yourself after tax season is to securely destroy all sensitive documents that may lead to your information falling into the wrong hands. Unless you think you’re going to be audited, the IRS says to hold on to tax info for no longer than three years and has provided more helpful information if you should fall into other categories.
We provide an on site shredding service to make sure that your documents are destroyed securely so you can move on with a peace of mind.