Advancing Tax Defense Network‘s mission to help taxpayers with tax and financial issues, advice from TDN’s own Senior Managing Licensed Tax Professional, Jonathan Bochese, was recently featured in the Boston Globe, Palm Beach Post, and Dayton Daily News among other news sources.
Identity theft is a growing problem for both taxpayers and the IRS. Identity thieves commonly use stolen personal information, such as Social Security Numbers (SSN) and legal names, to submit a fraudulent tax returns and claim the refunds. Working at Tax Defense Network, Bochese sees firsthand the impact that identity theft can have on taxpayers.
According to Bochese, the best way to prevent an identity thief from claiming a refund with your information is to file early.
“If you file your return as close to opening day as possible, it minimizes the chance the fraudulent return will get there first,” Bochese advised the Boston Globe. “The IRS will process the return they get first.”
While Bochese advises that there is no way to completely protect yourself from identity theft, it is important not to live in fear, but be aware of the risk.
Bochese and Tax Defense Network provided the following tips to help taxpayers lower their risk of identity theft:
- Do not carry your Social Security card with you. Keep it and any other document with your Social Security number on it in a safe place.
- Be wary of giving out personal/financial information. Remember, the IRS, banks, and other financial institutions will not communicate with you via e-mail. To best protect your identity, do not use your Social Security number online or through e-mail or text.
- Protect your online accounts. Check for the secure transaction label when making payments online and be aware of any security breaches with regularly used national retailers. In addition, be careful of the information you show on your social media accounts. Be sure to have a solid firewall, antimalware software, and to regularly change your passwords.
- Check your credit report regularly. Go to annualcreditreport.com and get a free report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year.
- Be proactive. If you suspect someone is using your identity or has your information, contact the IRS using Form 14039. This will lock your account and, although it will make it more difficult for you to receive information from the IRS, it may prevent thieves from defrauding you or the government.
Tax Defense Network is a Better Business A+ rated tax resolution company with headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. Its team of licensed tax professionals, enrolled agents, and CPAs helps both individuals and small business with their tax issues.