In a recent report issued by the Government Accountability Office, the IRS reports paying out over $5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds. Though the IRS was able to prevent $24.2 billion in fraudulent identity theft refunds in 2013, the need to protect yourself from identity theft is as important as ever. Identity theft refund fraud typically occurs when an identity thief uses a taxpayer’s identifying information to file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund, which is why it’s important to protect your information at all times. To arm yourself against the harmful effects of identity theft, the IRS suggests the following:

  • Check your credit report every 12 months

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card or any other documents with your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

  • Only give your SSN or ITIN when required

  • Protect your financial information with safe and secure passwords

  • Review your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually

  • Secure all personal information safely in your home

  • Protect your computers with firewalls and antivirus software, update this information frequently

  • Don’t give out personal information over the phone or internet unless you have established a trusted relationship with the recipient

If you find that more than one tax return has been filed for you, you owe additional taxes, or your state or federal benefits have changed because of an income change, you may be affected by identity theft refund fraud. At G.I. Tax, our mission is to arm you with the knowledge and resources to defend your family’s financial security. Our team of G.I. Tax Advisors are prepared to help you with accurate and year-round financial services and tax prep that will keep your finances safe and secure. To learn more, contact our team today.