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Steps to Help Avoid Tax Fraud - Person doing taxes on cluttered desk

6 Steps to Help Avoid Tax Fraud

Tax identity theft is when someone uses your Social Security number to steal your tax refund or for work. People often discover tax identity theft when they file their tax returns.

Here are some steps you can take to help avoid becoming a victim:

  • Keep an eye out for mailed tax documents to ensure nobody else intercepts them.

  • File early. The earlier you file, the less likely thieves can file on your behalf.

  • If you e-file your return, make sure you file from a secure internet connection and not from open public WIFI, like from a coffee shop or hotel.

  • If you mail your return, drop your return off directly at the post office to avoid it getting intercepted.

  • Sign up for a secure Identity Protection PIN from the IRS for added protection.

  • When disposing of important documents, make sure personal information is ineligible with a security stamp.

Remember that the IRS always initiates contact with taxpayers through the mail first. If you don't respond they may call in rare instances, but they will never contact you via text message, email or social media.

Follow these steps and stay safe this tax season!