Select Page

Protect Your Tax Refund From Identity TheftPart 3 of 3

by John G. Merna

Tax refund season brings a lot of relief to our debt-strapped clients anticipating a tax refund from their state or federal returns.  It can also bring some stress to others.  Last week in this blog we discussed how vulnerable tax refunds are to different type of debt collectors.  Today’s blog is about how vulnerable your refund is to identity theft.

 

HOW DO IDENTITY THIEVES STEAL TAX REFUNDS

The primary way a tax refund is stolen is by the thief filing a phony tax return using your personal information, including your social security number, to have your refund diverted to an account in their control.  The theft of your refund can also occur when a person uses your social security number to get a job or deduct a child of yours on their tax refund.  In both of these instances the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will deny your deduction or hold your return pending an investigation.  The burden, unfortunately, is on you to prove the theft.   According the the Federal Trade Commission, tax identity theft is the most common form of identity theft.

HOW NOT TO BE A VICTIM OF TAX IDENTITY THEFT

Here are several suggestions to help you avoid becoming a victim of tax identity theft:

  • File your tax return early in the tax season, if possible.
  • Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically.
  • Mail your tax return directly from the post office.
  • Shred copies of your tax return, drafts, or calculation sheets after they are no longer need.
  • If you have been a victim of identity theft in the past, take extra precautions by contacting the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
  • Don’t give out your Social Security number (SSN) or that of your children unless absolutely necessary.
  • Research an make sure tax preparers are licensed, accredited, or authorized to file returns before providing personal information.
  • Tax season is a good time to check your credit report annually for suspicious activity.  Go to annualcreditreport.com to make sure there has been no suspicious activity on your credit report.

The IRA will notify you by mail if they receive more than one return using your social security number.  Unfortunately, it will be too late and your refund will be held until the matter is cleared up.

If you get a letter or are concerned about tax identity theft, call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.

If you enjoyed this blog please hit the Google+1 at the top of the page so others can find the information more easily.

Here is hoping your tax deductions are great, your tax refund is large, and that you make the decision this year to get a fresh financial start.  As Virginia bankruptcy experts, we are here to answer your questions. Our professional bankruptcy attorneys can help you navigate the complicated world of bankruptcy.  Contact us below by clicking on one of the buttons or calling.

 

Call us at 800-662-8813 about bankruptcy Fill out a financial evaluationChat now about bankruptcySchedule A Free Bankruptcy Consultation - Virginia Beach, Richmond, Newport News

 

 

 

 

Connect with us on Google+

REQUIRED BAR NOTICE: THESE TESTIMONIALS DO NOT GUARANTEE SIMILAR RESULTS.

 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …very helpful and friendly!5 Stars! “Everyone at the office was very helpful and friendly. The attorney answered all of our questions and helped us through the entire process. He was also very helpful answering concerns that we had after the process was completed/over. Highly recommended!” Reviewed by M.E. of Virginia Beach on Mar 11 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …debt free!5 Stars! “A friendly staff and outstanding attorney who helped me through a difficult time in my life. Thanks to everyone at the Merna Law Group who helped me move on to and new chapter in my life debt free!” Reviewed by M.F. of Norfolk on Mar 8 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …kind and friendly from the start!5 Stars! “Everyone there was kind and friendly from the start and helped us with everything in a timely manner. They were never rude no matter how much we called or asked questions.” Reviewed by B.P. of Virginia Beach on Feb 20 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. Didn’t have to worry about anything!5 Stars! “Just keep providing the type of service you do. You business values are based off reliability and service. Today’s Law Offices just don’t offer that kind of experience. Didn’t have to worry about anything!!! Just being able to go on with my normal life and know that all my issues are well taken care of is a relief in itself.” Reviewed by A.P. of Virginia Beach on Mar 4 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …overall experience was outstanding!5 Stars! “My husband and I were very happy with The Merna Law Firm. They are well organized, time manageable, and friendly. I was even able to bring my children with me if I needed to. In court, they stayed right there beside us and answered all questions we had. Our overall experience was outstanding and I am glad we were represented by the Merna Law Group.” Reviewed by A.M. of Suffolk on Mar 5 .