Protect Yourself from Tax Fraud

As you begin to prepare to file your taxes this season, not only do you need to worry about getting your return in on time, but also the possibility of tax-related identity theft. Unfortunately, fraudsters are getting more and more creative. It is important to understand some of the common ways these individuals try to steal your information and even your tax refund!

Unsuspecting taxpayers may receive some form of communication via email or even a phone call claiming to be the IRS or their bank. Commonly, the emails received through these types of scams look very professional and ask for sensitive personal and financial information. It is critical to know that the IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media to request personal or financial information.

Most often, the IRS initiates most contact through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.  However, sometimes the IRS does call under special circumstances, or may even make a in person visit to a person’s home or business.  If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to represent the IRS, note that the IRS does not:

Another way scam artists take advantage is through paperless e-filing of tax returns.  Specifically, thieves submit returns with false information and receive a refund. Although the IRS maintains records of wages and income, they typically will issue a refund check before confirming the information submitted on the return. As a result, by the time the IRS has notified the victim, thieves have cashed the check and are long gone.

Here are a few ways to be proactive and safeguard yourself:

Finally, if you would like to report suspicious activity the IRS has several methods including through their website,  calling (800) 366-4484 to report phone scams, and emailing to report an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or an IRS-related component like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

The Law Offices of Lisa C. Bryant, INC would also be happy to connect you to appropriate resources, please call (408) 402-4064 to schedule a free consultation.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about our firm, our services, and the experience of our attorneys. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may be subject to change without notice.