As April 17 draws closer, most Baptist team members are getting ready to file federal and state income tax returns. And, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), tax identity thieves are eager to steal any refund that might be coming to you.
Tax identity theft occurs when someone obtains and uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. You might not know theft has happened until you get a letter from the IRS saying more than one tax return was filed in your name, or IRS records show you have wages from an employer you don’t know.
Take These Steps to Protect Yourself
In addition to ongoing cyber security recommendations, such as choosing strong passwords, using anti-virus software, and deleting suspicious emails without clicking any links, the FTC urges consumers to take the following steps to avoid tax identity theft:
- File your tax return early in the tax season, if you can.
- Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically, or mail your tax return directly from the post office.
- Respond to all mail from the IRS as soon as possible.
If the worst happens and your tax identity is stolen, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report it to the FTC, file an Identity Theft Affidavit with the IRS electronically, and get a personal recovery plan.
Click here for more information from the FTC.