6 Tips To Avoid Scams This Tax Season
As we get into the middle of the 2018 Tax-Filing Season, it is important to be alert so that you can protect your information, your assets and your peace of mind. I have thought of a few things to share with you here. However, if you have ANY questions about anything you receive (or have received), I am here to at least be a “sounding board” to see if I can help and lead you in the right direction. As always, Williams Financial Planning, Inc. and Glenn Williams are not tax advisers and cannot give tax advice. That being said, these are some items that you can use to help avoid scams this tax season.
1) First, be on the lookout for calls and emails that appear to be from the IRS. According to IRS.gov, the IRS will never.
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Call about an unexpected refund.
The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. (Source: IRS.gov)
2) Use a Private Portal (like our Vault) to upload any Tax Documents and watch for who asks for them. It is best to know who they are and why they are asking for them. If you are not sure, just call me. We can discuss why someone would need you to send them YOUR information!
3) File Early. I know we have to wait for 1099s, Corrected 1099s and other documents. However, the earlier you can file, the harder it is for someone to file fraudulently using your tax id number. Again, according to IRS.gov, “Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.” The site has other ways you can try to protect yourself as well.
4) Use a shredder. It is YOUR information. Protect it. When you want to make extra room, be sure to shred documents containing personal information. If you need help, several banks have “shred days” and I am sure we can find other avenues as well. Contact me and we will come up with a plan to help secure your privacy.
5) Charities! Make sure you know to which charities you are giving and that they are true charities. Fraudulent Charities are on the rise and we need to be aware. From the IRS in 2016: Fake Charities Are A Problem As you know, I work with many charities, so I can help you find information on the ones that are requesting funds from you.
6) Raise Awareness. Share this information with anyone you can so that they can be safe as well.
I know this is not an all-inclusive list, However, I hope it makes you aware that there are threats to your identity, assets and peace of mind and you CAN create some hurdles to make you less of a target.
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