It's Tax Time…File Early!
Jackie here. January 1st has come and gone, which means that it’s time to start working on your taxes. Tax identity theft continues to cause problems for many people, and one of the best ways to protect yourself is to file early. Start gathering those forms, tallying up those expenses, and getting ready to file. When it comes to protecting yourself from tax ID theft, earlier is better. This year, you can begin filing your returns on Tuesday, January 19th.
Why Should I File Early to Help Avoid Tax ID Theft?
Tax ID theft occurs when thieves use your personal information to obtain a tax refund or job. This scam typically occurs early in the tax season, stealing your refund before you’ve ever had a chance to claim it. Many people do not realize they are a victim until they receive a notice from the IRS after filing their own taxes. When you file early, you increase your chances of beating the thieves and keeping them from filing in your name before you do.
In addition to filing early, these other tips will help reduce your risk of tax ID theft.
Protect Your SSN- Thieves use your Social Security number to file taxes and claim your refund. Without it, they cannot commit tax identity theft. Do all you can to protect your SSN and don’t give it out unless absolutely necessary. Check your credit often to notice early signs of id theft.
Submit Your Taxes Securely- When you do file your taxes, do so securely. If you file online, use a secure connection and a computer with updated antivirus software, a firewall, etc. If you’re mailing in your return, take it to the post office directly. Don’t leave it in your mailbox or in an outdoor mail collection bin.
What Should I Do if I’m a Victim of Tax ID Theft?
If you receive a notice from the IRS that duplicate return have been filed, you may be a victim of tax id theft. This guide from the IRS will help you resolve the problem.