Tax Security Tips

It’s tax season, so that, of course, means scams are rampant. Follow these tax security tips to help you stay safe and secure this time of year.

File your taxes early

By filing early, you reduce the window of opportunity for scammers to file a fake return using your information. If it’s too late to file early, consider filing for an extension to give yourself more time to prepare your return. 

Keep your Social Security number (SSN) safe

Your SSN is a valuable piece of personal information for identity thieves. To keep it safe, avoid carrying your Social Security card with you and never unnecessarily share your SSN. When filling out tax forms, double-check your SSN to ensure it’s accurate. If you suspect your SSN has been compromised, contact the Social Security Administration ASAP! 

Additionally, if you receive a notice from the IRS suggesting that someone else has already filed a return using your SSN, contact the IRS and follow their instructions to resolve the issue.

Use strong, unique passwords when filing taxes

Your online tax accounts contain sensitive information, so it’s crucial to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. It’s also essential to use different passwords for each account. This way, if one account is compromised, your other accounts won’t be at risk. Finally, enable two-factor authentication whenever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.

Be wary of phone scams

Phone scams are a common tactic used by scammers to trick people into revealing their personal and financial data. These scammers often pose as IRS agents and threaten legal action if you don’t pay an alleged tax debt immediately. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and report it to the IRS.

Secure your mailbox

Identity thieves do more than plunder your online information. They also look for sensitive information in mailboxes. Make sure your mailbox is secure and emptied daily. For the best security, consider using a locked mailbox or a P.O. box to protect your mail.

Use secure Wi-Fi networks

When filing your taxes online, use a secure Wi-Fi network to prevent hackers from intercepting your information. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, as they can be easily compromised. Instead, use a secure, password-protected Wi-Fi network you trust. 

Beware of tax scams

Scammers love tax season because there’s ample opportunity to trick people into revealing their personal and financial information. Be wary of any unsolicited emails, phone calls or text messages claiming to be from the IRS or other tax entities. Also, be skeptical of any promises of big refunds or threats of legal action. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Follow these tips to keep your money and your information safe this season.