Although tax related identity theft has dropped somewhat in recent years, the scam still made the IRS’ 2019 ‘Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams list.
Taxpayers should remember that identity thieves constantly strive to find a scheme that works. Once their ruse begins to fail as taxpayers become aware of their ploys, they change tactics. Taxpayers and tax professionals must remain vigilant to the various scams and schemes used for data thefts. Business filers should be aware that cyber criminals also file fraudulent Forms 1120, U.S. Corporate Income Tax Return, using stolen business identities and they too, should be alert.
Reversing the damage caused by identity theft is often a frustrating and complex process for victims. While identity thieves steal information from sources outside the tax system, the IRS is often the first to inform a victim that identity theft has occurred.
To avoid identity theft, always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections on your computer. Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails. Protect your personal data. Don’t routinely carry a Social Security card, and make sure tax records are secure. Treat personal information like cash; don’t leave it lying around.