At Beaton Accounting, if there’s one thing we want you to keep in mind most of all when filing your taxes this year, it’s to be extremely cautious with your personal information at all times.
With all of the personal information exchanging hands this time of year, it makes sense that criminals would target tax filers and tax preparers as prime victims of identity theft. These thieves steal your information in order to claim your tax return or tax refund for themselves, and they may even continue using your information to find jobs, make additional claims and more.
Here are few things you should know about identity thieves to avoid being the next victim:
– The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email to request personal or financial information. If you get an email saying you’re being audited or getting a refund, it’s probably a scam.
– Your identity may be stolen during tax season in a number of ways:
- Looking through your personal items (wallets, purses) when they are left unattended
- Looking through your trash for bills, invoices, etc.
- Posing as someone who needs your information
- Accessing information you provide to unsecure websites
– Your social security number is one of the most important numbers you own. If stolen, the thief may use it to get a job, in which case the employer would file your thief’s income as your income. If the IRS tells you that you haven’t reported all of your income, you’ve probably become a victim.
To learn more about identity theft, secure websites and complete information on legitimate IRS activity, our tax professionals advise you to visit the official IRS website: www.irs.gov
If you opt to enlist a tax preparer this tax season to file your tax return for you, be sure to check out their policies on identity theft. In case something happens, you want to make sure that they will take responsibility for any foul play or loss of identity.
At Beaton Accounting, we ensure that all of our tax returns are completed safely and securely by a professional tax preparer. If you’d like to speak with a Beaton Accounting tax representative, call us today for a FREE consultation:
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