IRS Gives Tax-time Scam Tips

The IRS faces the tough task of blocking the thousands of fraudulent tax returns it receives during the tax season. Many times, the IRS is unable to detect a fraudulent tax return, which results in the tax scammers getting the refund money. Taxpayers, therefore, must ensure that their tax information is safe. The IRS has issued tips to taxpayers to help them counter identity theft and scams.

1.         You must not carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

2.         Do not give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required, and when you are sure that the business will not share it.

3.         Keep your financial information protected.

4.         Check your credit report every 12 months.

5.         Secure the personal information in your home. Tax scammers are known to look for personal information in the trash.

6.         Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam/virus software, updating security patches and changing passwords for Internet accounts.

7.         Never share your personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact and are sure of the authenticity of the recipient.

8.         Choose a tax preparer carefully. There are a few unscrupulous preparers that you need to be careful of. 

Tax returns must be filed as early in the season as possible. That way, if a fraudulent tax return is filed using your stolen identity, it will be rejected by the IRS. These precautions can can save taxpayers from becoming a victim of tax scammers.

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