Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week kicks off early during tax season. The fourth workweek in January affords everyone an opportunity to learn how to protect themselves against tax identity theft.
It’s a busy time of year while CPAs and accountants are busy compiling earnings. Employers and employees collect their tax documents and prepare to file taxes. But how do we safely and securely file our taxes? The documents contain valuable information. Cybercrimes like tax identity theft are a growing crime. In the United States, 1/3 of adults have been victims of identity theft. While data breaches can be traced back to some of the causes, thieves are on the lookout for victims at tax time, too.
There are ways to protect yourself.
- – Do not supply your social security number (SSN) unless absolutely necessary.
– File taxes early before the criminals do.
– Shred any documents before discarding in the trash
– File your taxes through a secure internet connection or mail from your post office.
– The IRS will not email, text, call or contact you via social media. They will send contact you by U.S. mail.
– Check your credit report at least once per year. You can check it for free at annualcreditreport.com. Verify no other accounts have been opened under your name.
- If your SSN becomes compromised, you should contact the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit. Their number is 800-908-4490. You can also visit IdentityTheft.gov.
HOW TO OBSERVE #TaxIdentityTheftAwarenessWeek
Be proactive in protecting your identity. For more information visit consumer.ftc.gov. Use #TaxIdentityTheftAwarenessWeek to share on social media.
TAX IDENTITY THEFT AWARENESS WEEK HISTORY
The Federal Trade Commission launched the observance to help provide consumers with tools and resources to protect themselves.