Tips for Tax Identity Theft
Ready for tax season? If you haven't heard about tax identity
theft, you may not be.
Tax identity theft happens when someone files a phony tax return
using your personal information - like your Social Security number
- to get a tax refund from the IRS. It also can happen when
someone uses your Social Security number to get a job or claims
your child as a dependent on a tax return. Tax identity theft is
the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal
Trade Commission. The IRS says tax identity theft is a top priority
and says it has hired new staff, explored new technologies, and
adopted new procedures to fight it.
For these reasons, Citizens Security Bank
is participating in Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, along
with other federal, state, and local officials and law enforcement
agencies. Here's what you can do to lessen the chance you'll be a
- 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.
- Shred copies of your tax return, drafts, or calculation sheets
you no longer need.
- Respond to all mail from the IRS as soon as possible.
- Know the IRS won't contact you by email, text, or social media.
If the IRS needs information, it will contact you by mail.
- Don't give out your Social Security number (SSN) unless
- Research a tax preparer thoroughly before you hand over
- If your SSN has been compromised, contact the IRS ID Theft
Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
- Check your credit report at least once a year for free at annualcreditreport.com
to make sure no other accounts have been opened in your name.
What if you're a victim? Tax identity theft victims typically
find out about the crime when they get a letter from the IRS saying
that more than one tax return was filed in the their name, or IRS
records show they received wages from an employer they don't know.
If you get a letter like this, don't panic. Contact the IRS
Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
More information about tax
identity theft is available from the FTC at http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft,
the IRS at irs.gov/identitytheft,
and from[state/local office].