Tax Identity Theft
A fresh start every January can be refreshing. People start their new workout regimens, they plan to get healthy, or decide to get organized. However, January also means that its time again for tax season which is a prime time for identity thieves. Tax related identity theft is at an all-time high and the IRS and other agencies are putting safe guards up to try and combat this after paying out 5.8 billion dollars in refund checks to identity thieves in 2013.
What is tax-related identity theft?
“Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. You may be unaware that this has happened until you e-file your return and discover that a return already has been filed using your SSN. Or, the IRS may send you a letter saying we have identified a suspicious return using your SSN.” (irs.gov)
Protect yourself from fraud by keeping close tabs on who asks for your personal information. First of all, the IRS will never call you about your return; they will only send you information in the mail. Most financial institutions abide by this as well. If a bank calls and ask for your social security number or for some kind of payment information, questioning their validity would be wise as most banks will contact you by mail as well. You should also keep any records of your tax returns and any files from past years in a secure location. If you file electronically, make sure you use a password that is secure.
Here at Stolly Insurance we carry specialized identity theft insurance that can be added to a homeowners or auto insurance policy. This coverage can help you with any costs that you may have when dealing with an identity theft issue. This could include replacing wages if you have to take time off, any documents you may have to replace, or attorney costs. If you want more information on this coverage, you can call us here at Stolly Insurance.
If you believe that your identity could have been stolen, you can call the IRS identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
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