Have you paid more taxes than your tax liability? Are you thinking of filing for a tax refund from IRS? Are you looking for a tax preparer that can help you with this ordeal? If yes, then stop! Before you hire a tax preparer for this task, you must first read this article and learn why you should be cautious when you file a refund.
Tax Fraud – the Nation’s Fastest Growing ID Crime
Did you know tax refund theft is the fastest growing ID crime in the US today? According to a report published by Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN), this crime is growing massively. For those who are not aware, this involves the criminal stealing the victim’s Social Security Number to secure a tax refund.
If the criminal files a refund before you, then your refund not only gets delayed for six months but you are also forced to spend endless hours with tax authorities convincing them that you didn’t file for the first refund under your name.
How to Protect Yourself from ID Tax Refund Fraud?
As compared to 2012, this crime has increased by 43% this year and approximately $5.2 billion stolen in the name of tax refunds so far in 2013. Although the Criminal Investigation (CI), a major component of IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is making all possible efforts to stop this crime from increasing any further their efforts will be in vain if you don’t play your part.
To stop identity theft, here’s what you can do:
- Avoid providing your personal and confidential information including your SSN number via email. Many id scammers use the phishing email technique to steal your Identity and then they use it to file a refund. If you receive an email that appears to be from the IRS, it’s probably a scam. Here’s why! The IRS does not contact taxpayers through email or texts or even social media pages to acquire any confidential information.
- To avoid tax fraud make sure the tax preparer you choose has an IRS preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). If your tax preparer does not write this number on your tax return, this means you are most probably working with a shady tax preparer.
- Never provide your SSN or any piece of confidential or financial information to telemarketers because it can be misused easily to file tax returns.
- Another way to protect yourself from ID theft and probably the best one is to hire a professional and a reliable identity theft protection company. Unlike credit monitoring services it does not inform you after you become a victim instead it takes all safety measures to ensure you don’t fall prey in the first place.