Tax Identity Theft Awareness - Protecting Yourself From Tax Identity Theft

Tax Identity Theft Awareness - Protecting Yourself From Tax Identity Theft

February 23, 2021

Tax identity theft is when someone steals your Social Security Number, files a tax return with your number, and directs a refund to their own bank account. In other cases, this type of identity theft may involve a scam artist calling on the phone, pretending to be a rep from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and demanding payment over the phone. To protect yourself, keep these tips in mind.

1. Remember the IRS Doesn’t Make Surprise Phone Calls

The IRS does call taxpayers, but these calls are never a surprise. By the time an IRS agent calls you about a delinquent tax bill, you should have received numerous notices and demands for payment in the mail. If you get a call that you weren’t expecting, the caller is likely a scam artist. Hang up and contact the IRS directly. Never make a payment over the phone.

2. Be Aware of the Signs That Someone Has Filed a Return in Your Name

There are several red flags that can indicate someone has fraudulently filed a tax return in your name, and they include the following:

· A letter from the IRS about a tax return you know you didn’t file

· A tax transcript that you didn’t request

· A notice that an online account has been created in your name

· A notification that your online account has been accessed or disabled when you know you didn’t take those actions

· A rejection notice saying you already filed when you try to file your return electronically

· IRS records indicating that you received wages or income from an employer you didn’t work for

If you notice any of these red flags, you should also reach out to the IRS and consider freezing your credit report to ensure the scam artist doesn’t use your info to open any accounts or do any other damage.

3. File Your Tax Return Early

To prevent someone from filing a tax return with your Social Security Number, consider filing your tax return as soon as possible. Then, even if a scam artist gets ahold of your info, the IRS will reject the return they attempt to file.

4. Safeguard Your Social Security Number

Take steps to keep your Social Security Number as safe as possible. If you have documents with your number on them, shred them and dispose of them carefully. Also, make sure to have safe internet hygiene. In particular, never submit sensitive information such as tax returns, bank sign-in details, or similar data over public WiFi. Always make sure you’re on a secure password-protected network.

5. Check Your Credit Report Regularly

Ideally, you should check your credit report on a regular basis. This gives you the ability to ensure your credit score is moving in the right direction, but at the same time, you can also see if anyone has opened an account or made a credit inquiry. If that happens, you know your information has been compromised and you can take steps to rectify the issue quickly.


Important Disclosure Information

The comments above refer generally to financial markets and not Bazis Young portfolios or any related performance. The content of this article should not be considered financial advice. The article is not intended to  offer specific investment recommendations and  is general in nature and should not be considered a comprehensive review or analysis of the topics discussed. This article is not a substitute for a consultation with an investment adviser in a one-on-one context whereby all the facts of the attendee’s situation can be considered in its entirety and the investment adviser can provide individualized investment advice or a customized financial plan. Opinions expressed are current as of the date shown and are subject to change. Past performance is not indicative of future results and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against loss.  All investments carry some level of risk including loss of principal. Information or data shown or used in this material was received from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy is not guaranteed. This information does not provide recipients with information or advice that is sufficient on which to base an investment decision. This information does not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation or need of any particular investor and may not be suitable for all types of investors. Recipients should consider the content of this information as a single factor in making an investment decision. Additional fundamental and other analyses would be required to make an investment decision about any individual security identified in this report.

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