Tax season ID theft concerns
Posted On: 2-7-2014 | Posted By: WK Staff
Tax season is a good time to remind you about the dangers of tax identity theft. IRS impersonation schemes continue to flourish. But the IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by e-mail or social media to request personal or financial information. The initial contact with taxpayers is always through the U.S. mail. If you receive an e-mail or social media solicitation that appears to come from the IRS, imposters may be trying to steal your identity.
- Sometimes identity thieves file fraudulent tax refund claims using stolen personal information. If a thief files for a refund before you do, your refund will be delayed. The IRS takes approximately 180 days to resolve a typical ID theft case. Your first line of defense against fraudulent tax refund claims is to file as early as possible.
- If you file electronically, use a secure computer on a secure network, not a wi-fi hotspot network. Always keep your operating system and all of your protection software up to date. Check for updates before beginning to file your return.
- To retain an electronic copy of your return, save the file to a CD or flash drive (or WK clients can store returns in our client portal) and then delete the personal return information from your hard drive. Store the CD or flash drive in a safe place, such as a lock box or safe. Those are also safe places to store printed copies of your tax return.
- If you file by mail, go to the post office and consider mailing by certified mail. Never send your tax return from an unlocked mailbox in front of your house.
If Fraud Strikes
Victims will receive a notice from the IRS if more than one tax return is filed under their Social Security numbers or if the income reported on their tax returns is less than the amounts reported on their W-2 and 1099 forms. If this happens to you, or if you didn’t receive an IRS notice but believe your personal information has been stolen, contact your WK advisor immediately at (573) 442-6171 or (573) 635-6196.
If you found this client alert beneficial consider signing up for “Values.” WK’s newsletter for individuals and families.