Paying taxes is inevitable. It is what helps run the country. You can use tax services to help you do your tax accounting and pay them timely.
However, you need to safeguard your identity while you do this so that you avoid paying excess or missing your refunds. Essentially, tax identity fraud occurs when a thief uses someone’s personal information to file a fraudulent tax and get a refund.
You often don’t get to know this until you try to file your taxes and realize that someone has already filed it. You’d be surprised to know that at least 1.4 million identity thefts occurred in 2021, of which 45% were tax identity theft. That’s why it is crucial to safeguard your identity and prevent tax identity theft that can make you lose your refunds.
This blog will provide you with tips on preventing tax identity theft.
Top 5 tips to prevent tax identity theft
With tax identity theft becoming common, it is necessary to protect yourself to avoid mission out on refunds and tax credits. Generally, a tax identity theft occurs when the thief uses your social security number for employment or obtains enough info to file as a different person.
You only get to know when you try filing your tax, and it gets rejected. This can be harrowing, so here are the top 5 tips to prevent being a victim of tax identity theft:
1. Safeguard your social security number
The foremost step to avoiding tax identity theft is safeguarding your social security number. This means you need to ensure you don’t give out your social security number to anyone. Ensure you ask several times the reason why anyone needs the number. If necessary, find out if it will be protected and the measures for the same.
Avoid carrying your card with you and store it securely to prevent it from being mugged. Additionally, ensure you shred any paperwork that has your social security number.
2. File taxes early
Another way to avoid tax identity theft is to file your taxes early. That way, a thief won’t be able to use your identity to file taxes and stela your refund and credit. Moreover, if you notice someone has filed a fraudulent return, ensure you fill out Form 14039 to process your return.
Additionally, filing your taxes early, say by January end, will reduce tension and prevent fraudulent filing from your account.
3. Be aware of scams and phishing
Tax identity thieves are notorious for using scams and phishing tricks to get their hands on your information. You must be aware and ensure you don’t give your details to anyone. Moreover, in the digital world, you will find thieves trying to get your information by claiming you won the lottery or other prize money.
Furthermore, thieves may impersonate IRS officers and ask you for details over the phone or by email. Ensure you don’t fall for it and check for proof if anyone asks you for your personal information.
4. Change your passwords often
Tax identity thieves get your information from multiple sources. Often, they create genuine-looking emails and trick you into providing your log-in credentials. When you have had the same password for years, it becomes easy to target and get your personal information.
Ensure you change your password every 90 days and use a different password for different accounts. Moreover, choose a strong password with characters, numbers, and capital letters. Besides, you must enable two-factor authentication.
5. Use alerts
Tax and finance institutions have systems to alert you when fraudulent transactions occur. However, you need to sign up for the alerts to ensure you get them. So, research and sign up at the right place to get regular alerts.
You will be alerted if someone tries to file taxes using your social security number and take quick action.
Preventing tax identity theft is crucial to ensure you get the refunds due to you. Moreover, it is important to ensure you are paying only the taxes that you owe. Some ways to avoid tax identity theft include freezing your credit, safeguarding your social security number, using alerts, using a digital wallet, changing your password often, filing your taxes early, and more.
If you have trouble filing your taxes early to avoid identity theft, you can use tax services like Stamos and Stamos Certified Public Accountants Inc. They are the best tax consultants near me and are professional tax accounting people. They will help you plan your future, file taxes, and support your financial goals.
So, get in touch with the best tax services to prevent tax identity theft and file on time.