Nearly 30% of identify theft is related to tax fraud. All the personal information required to file a tax return makes them prime targets for identity thieves. The AICPA has provided helpful tips to keep yourself and your family safe, especially during tax season.
Monitor your personal information.
- Regularly check your bank and credit card statements.
- Order your free annual credit report.
Beware of impersonators.
- Do not provide personal information to callers you do not know.
Careful what you post.
- Do not post personal or family data on social media.
- Stranger danger! Only accept friend requests from people you know.
Protect your private personal info.
- Shred any documents that have personal information before throwing them away.
- Be very selective when sharing your Social Security number.
Keep your computer secure.
- Use current versions of antivirus, malware protection, and firewalls and keep them updated.
- Use strong passwords, change them frequently and do not share them.
Avoid phishing scams.
- Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you know the sender.
- The IRS never initiates contact by email, text message or through social media.
Be aware of cybersecurity.
- No sensitive tax or personal information should be sent via unsecured email.
- Always use a secure portal, encrypted email, or send sensitive information through the post office.
So, you’re a victim of identity theft? What now?
• Contact your CPA.
• Report identity theft to the FTC at IdentityTheft.gov.
• Contact a major credit bureau to place a fraud alert on your records.
• Close any accounts you didn’t open.
• Respond to all IRS notices.
• Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return.
The unfortunate reality is that personal data is already at risk everywhere. But your CPA can help! They can get you back on track should identity theft occur.
identity theft and fraud complaints were filed in 2016 (FTC)
of identity theft fraud is tax fraud
*Information provided by the AICPA.
Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.