6 Tips for Tax Security
It’s tax season, which means millions of people will be uploading personal information to the internet to do their tax returns. Scammers prey on vulnerable and unsuspecting people during tax season, so it’s vital that you take extra steps to keep your financial and personal information secure. In this blog, we lay out five tips to help you stay secure during tax season.
Unless you are expecting a call from the IRS for some reason, it’s not them. In fact, according to Business Insider, if the IRS ever needs to contact you, they will send a letter. They will not call you, send an email, reach out via social media, or any other form. If you are suspicious of a letter you receive from the IRS, visit your local IRS office to verify its authenticity. A level of skepticism over sensitive information is healthy.
Beware of Phishing
Don’t click on any suspicious links, particularly if it asks for financial or personal information. Again, the IRS won’t send anything over email that asks for personal information. This also goes for voicemails. Don’t return any voicemails that claim to be from the IRS. Send any suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the IRS to report a potential scam.
Use Common Sense
We say this a lot, but if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Call your local IRS office to verify anything that raises red flags, even if it’s a claim to give you a tax break. You can never be too safe when it pertains to your personal or financial information.
Use a Trusted Service
Whether it’s an accountant or a digital tax refund service, use something you know and trust. Do not give unvetted sources access to your confidential tax information. The IRS offers tips for choosing the right tax preparer.
Take Care of Returns Early
Not only will you get your refunds quicker, but you are also less susceptible to scams and other tax-related issues when you file your returns early. A scammer has less time to file a fake tax return in your name when you file early. This also gives you more time to prepare in case you end up owing money to the IRS.
Shred and Destroy Your Outdated Tax-Related Records and Devices
If you no longer need a document or have copies of that document, shred the unnecessary ones to prevent possible vulnerability to your information being stolen. This is particularly true for businesses or corporations that might hold on to documents longer than needed. Purging your unneeded documents significantly helps your chances of not being a victim of identity fraud.