Beware Tax-Related Identity Theft

by Jim Dieterle 16. December 2015 11:12
A recent study by the General Accounting Office found that nearly $25 billion in identity theft had been prevented by the IRS in the past year. That is the good news. The bad news is that in the same study the GAO reported nearly $6 billion was stolen from taxpayers through identify theft. For the unfamiliar, tax-related identity theft is defined by the IRS as: “when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.” So what can you do to prevent this from happening to you? Here are a few tips: · Don’t keep your Social Security card or any document containing your SSN on your person · Only give out your SSN when absolutely necessary · Protect your personal computers and digital devices by using strong passwords and installing antivirus software. The problem is so pervasive that the IRS has published a Taxpayer’s Guide to Identity Theft. This provides guidance on reducing your risk, recognizing the warning signs that your taxpayer identity has been comprised, and what to do if that occurs.