Tax Refund Fraud…Its tax season again. We worry about “the tax man.” In today’s world, we also must worry about a new tax danger, Tax Refund Fraud. Let me share with you some thoughts about Tax Refund Fraud from several articles on the Tax Refund Fraud. Learn the ways you can protect yourself.
Tax Refund Fraud From and ABC News Story…
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine – let’s call her Mallory – got an unsettling call from her accountant. The accountant had been preparing Mallory’s taxes, hit “Send” to e-file the finished return, and it was rejected. Someone had already filed a tax return using Mallory’s Social Security number. She’d been a victim of tax identity theft.
The accountant called the IRS, but they wouldn’t talk to her. Mallory called and was directed to the fraud department. While she was on hold, she made more calls: one to a friend at the FBI, another to the FTC and the last one to me.
Mallory had just become a statistic. The aftermath of tax identity theft is messy, and since 2012, the number of victims has been on the rise. Millions of Americans who expected refunds—often desperately needed to make ends meet—have waited the better part of a year to get their money back – and even then only after they had traversed a paper labyrinth to prove to the IRS they had been the victims of a crime.
Tax Refund Fraud–What You Can Do to Protect Your Tax Identity
Scott Mitic, CEO of TrustedID, an identity-protection company, offers the following suggestions on how to protect your identity in tax related matters.
- Be careful about who does your taxes. Choose someone who has good references from family and friends.
- Don’t carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet.
- Did you know that majority of identity thieves are from people you know? Don’t leave personal information lying around the house where guests, nannies, housekeepers or construction workers might find it.
- The internet is a great place for identity thieves to gather information. Don’t offer your birth date and the city of your birth on your Facebook page. These bits of information can be pieced together with others, such as your Social Security number, your address and your mother’s maiden name, to form an identity.
- Never put your tax forms in your mailbox. Put them in a postal box or hand them to a postal employee. E-filing is the most secure way to file, as fewer people handle the data.
The tips above will help you avoid identity theft associated with tax refunds. If you would like more preventive tips, go to irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection. Be safe and keep your tax refunds safe!