As individuals do not have enough to worry about during the tax season such as tax preparation and filing their income tax returns, they now must protect themselves from identity theft. Unfortunately, identity theft is a major security threat that all adults must be aware of and take the necessary precautions to prevent from happening. What most individuals do not realize is that identity theft is the most rampant during tax season. It’s a thief’s ideal situation because of the massive influx of private information being exchanged between taxpayers, financial institutions, employers, and the IRS.
Identity Theft is Real
Taxpayers need to fear these criminals as they are becoming more sophisticated in their schemes to steal from innocent people and their plans to commit fraud against the IRS. The statistics of identity theft are alarming to say the very least. 15 million people each year are the victims of identity theft. These thieves do not discriminate against anyone. If there is any opportunity to defraud you, they will absolutely do so.
They are relentless and will execute their manipulative schemes against those that are the most vulnerable. Consider these criminals to be highly skilled and masterminds at their craft. Of course, we are referring to the craft of stealing from innocent individuals like yourselves. Regrettably, most of the time you don’t realize your identity has been stolen until the perpetrator has already committed the crime.
Why Does Tax Season Attract Identity Thieves
While most individuals do not enjoy filing their income tax returns during the 2023 tax season, there may be others who actually are looking forward to reaping the benefits of your diligence in fulfilling your annual tax obligation. Otherwise known as identity thieves, these spineless criminals have developed strategies to steal what rightfully belongs to you, especially during the busy tax season. And it’s no wonder that these offenders meticulously plan their crimes during the tax season when taxpayers are in a hurry to file their income tax returns.
Already racing against the clock, taxpayers are overwhelmed and stressed. Identity thieves will take advantage of the individual’s delicate state of mind and prepare to execute their scheme when the taxpayer has let their guard down. These identity villains will set their conniving crimes in motion and execute when at-risk individuals are least likely to expect it.
Tax Identity Theft
We have all heard stories about individuals’ identities being stolen and how it can literally destroy their lives, financial security, and credit history, not to mention the headache of trying to reclaim their identity. You may wonder why a thief would want to deliberately steal a taxpayer’s identity. These criminals will illegally obtain a taxpayer’s Social Security number and their consumer information to file a fraudulent tax return in their name early on in the tax season before the victim will eventually file their legitimate income tax returns. As a result, the scammer will receive the victim’s refund check illegitimately from the IRS before the taxpayer whose identity was stolen even files their income tax returns.
Protect Your Taxpayer’s Identity
While identity thieves cannot be stopped, you can take certain steps to make it more difficult for them to steal money from you. Your Social Security card is a valuable document and should be treated as such. Always leave your Social Security card at home in a place that only you are aware of. This protects you in the event that you misplaced it or if your home is broken into. Take caution in sharing your Social Security number.
Do not freely provide it unless you absolutely trust the entity that is requesting it. Be extremely cautious of any suspicious individuals who randomly approach you and offer to help you with the filing of your income tax returns without making any promises of securing your confidential information.
Importance of Keeping Organized Tax Records
Only you can ensure that your annual income tax returns have been filed properly and accepted by the IRS. Implement a routine to verify and review that your earning statements haven’t been revised by logging on to the Social Security Administration’s website. Create a strong password that is not associated with any of your own personal data to protect the integrity of your tax information. It is highly recommended to change your passwords frequently to prevent identity thieves from figuring out your password.
Hire a Professional Tax Accountant That You Can Trust
There are many tax accountants to choose from. Interview and research your preferred accountant before you begin working with them. Start Fresh Tax Relief provides professional income tax services for individuals and small businesses alike. Our priority is providing outstanding customer service and exceptionally high-quality standards. We have a high-security infrastructure to securely keep your records safe and protected.