Between organizing all the necessary documents, making sure
everything is as it should be, and trying to determine the exact benefits for
which they will be eligible, most consumers probably think tax filing season is
hectic enough every year without having to worry about the threat of criminals
gaining access to their vital personal or financial information. For that
reason, the Federal Trade Commission is now trying to educate consumers about
the potential threat they face with a special event.
The week of Jan. 13-17 has been deemed by the FTC to be Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, because of how quickly this
type of crime has spread in the last few years alone, according to a report
from the federal watchdog agency. For example, it will hold a number of events
nationwide, as well as webinars and Twitter talks about the ways in which
consumers will be able to better spot potential schemes designed to obtain
their Social Security numbers or other sensitive data, and therefore
potentially avoid them before they're victimized by the crime. It is also
trying to let people know how they can report incidents of such problems to the
proper authorities so that others who might be similarly affected in their
tips did they provide?
One of the biggest tips the agency can provide is that consumers should get
their tax forms completed and submitted to the IRS as soon in the filing season
as possible, to avoid the potential for time to pass so that criminals can
hatch their fraud plans, the report said. Along similar lines, the IRS will
only contact consumers through the mail - never by phone, email, or any other
means - and any inquiries received should likewise be answered as quickly as
possible before they're intercepted or otherwise compromised. For those
who think their personal information has already been compromised, it's vital
to let the IRS know as soon as possible so that they can be added to the long
and growing list of people who have been affected by such crime, and for whom
special filing considerations must be made.
Finally, it might also be wise for consumers to consult
with a tax professional about the best ways in which they can safely file, to
avoid any potential hiccups they may encounter.
For a more in-depth look at Liberty Tax Service, visit the Give Me Liberty! Magazine. Follow Liberty Tax on Facebook and
on Twitter or contact Liberty Tax directly at 1-877-at-Liberty.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.