Combating Tax Identity Theft: The IRS and the Taxpayer

Taxes Due Reminder

*Originally posted March 13, 2017. Updated February 28, 2020.*

Tax season, fraud, theft – oh my! 

Tax season is a notoriously stressful time. Between filling out the forms, paying taxes or waiting for refunds, the tax-filing process can seem endless.

What’s more concerning is that tax season is a holiday for identity thieves. Tax fraud and tax identity theft continue to be a significant problem for both the tax administration and American taxpayers alike. Whether it’s through data breaches, phishing emails, scams or simple social engineering tactics, criminals hope to obtain enough of your sensitive information so that they can fraudulently file your taxes before you do. Continue reading

Want to Keep Your Small Business Going Strong? Avoid Tax Identity Theft

*Originally posted March 21, 2016. Updated December 30, 2019*

As the calendar turns to another year, businesses and individuals will soon be facing the inevitability of yet another tax season. And, while filing taxes isn’t something entirely avoidable, the risk of business tax identity theft can easily be minimized. According to the IRS Security Summit, businesses small and large are ideal targets for data thieves every tax season due to their abundance of personal information that can be used to file fraudulent returns. With ever-changing tax reform and regulations, it may be hard for your company to keep up processes while ensuring all sensitive documents are secure. Stick to the following tax preparation tips to avoid letting business tax identity theft wreak havoc on your business: Continue reading

Refund Denied: What to Do if You’re a Victim of Tax Fraud

Rejected Tax Notice

Now that April 15th has come and gone, it’s still critical for you to stay vigilant and to keep a watchful eye for any suspicious activity that may signal tax fraud.  

Fraudsters have been busy, and may have already been working behind the scenes to steal your refund. The 2018 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book classifies tax fraud as one of the top three reported types of identity theft submitted to the Federal Trade Commission. Continue reading

File Taxes Early to Avoid Tax Fraud and Identity Theft

Get Ahead of Tax Fraud and Identity Theft 

Filing your taxes can be a pain, but dealing with tax fraud and identity theft can be even worse. As we scramble to compile our W-2s and file our returns by the April deadline, we often forget that tax season is also considered open season for identity thieves. 

Many of last year’s large-scale data breaches (like Equifax and Alteryx) have already given identity thieves a leg-up in the tax fraud and identity theft game. These breach events exposed a multitude of personal and financial information that experts predict will be used to fraudulently file tax returns this year. 

Fraudsters also effectively cover their bases by using a variety of tax-related scams that play on a victim’s fears. Scammers hope they can convince you to hand over personal and financial information to be used in other crimes. 

What should you look for? What can you do? Find all the answers to your tax crime-related questions concerning your personal information, the scams targeting you and best tax-filing practices.     Continue reading