When it comes to tax season, identity thieves are out in full force. Since tax returns have all the information they need to steal your identity, you’ll want to take some precaution. Here are a few simple tax-time tips to help keep your information safe:
As soon as you get your tax forms, begin compiling your tax return. Identity thieves will try to file fraudulent tax returns before their victims in order to avoid detection.
Choose a reputable tax preparer
Just because a friend of a friend offers to file your taxes for you, doesn’t mean you have to take them up their offer. Before handing over your tax documents to anyone, you’ll want to make sure your tax preparer is registered with the IRS. You’ll also want to ask for their Tax Preparer Identification Number. It’s important to choose a reputable company in order to avoid scams.
Check your credit reports
Keep an eye out for any unauthorized activity by watching your credit reports and credit union statements. If you are contacted by the IRS regarding duplicate tax returns file in your name, make sure to check your credit reports and contact the credit bureaus about possible fraud. You can learn more about credit reports and how to report errors on your credit report by visiting Sandia Area’s Security Center.
No, the IRS is not calling you
If you receive a call from someone that states they are calling from the, chances are it’s a scam. The IRS will not call you and demand immediate payment. The only time the IRS will call you is only after a bill has been sent. Some other red flags to look out for include:
- Demanding you to pay taxes and not allowing you to question or appeal the amount you owe
- Requiring you to pay your taxes in a certain way. For instance, with a prepaid debit card
- Asking you for your credit or debit card number over the phone
- Threatening to bring in the police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying
If you know with certainty you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
Contact The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting webpage. You can also call 800-366-4484.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe:
Call the IRS at 800-829-1040.