This week is the Federal Trade Commission’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. The first week of February is technically the first week you can file your taxes completely as the laws state all your financial institutions, employers, etc… are supposed to have your tax documents in your hands by Jan. 31.
Tax Identity Theft is where a scammer will take your SSN (Social Security Number) and personal information to file a fraudulent tax return and collect a refund. If the scammers do this before you file when it comes time for you to file the IRS will reject it as a duplicate. Then the real problems and work to untangle the mess happen.
Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week was created to help people protect and avoid these crimes. It’s important to understand that everyone should review these websites and be made aware of the risks out there.
The first and best tip to avoid this is to file your taxes as early as you can. Beat the criminals to the punch. You may not be able to stop a fraudulent claim from being filed if your personal information is in a criminal’s hands but you can prevent them from succeeding in filing a claim.
Here is a collection of resources you can view and send to others that need to review this –
- FTC Tax Identity Theft Awareness Website
- Department of Homeland Security Identity Theft Tips
- IRS Guide To Identity Theft
Be aware, be safe.