As the saying goes, the only truly consistent thing is life is that things change. Unfortunately, one of the things that stayed the same in 2014 is that Identity Theft once again topped the IRS’ “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams” list.
As defined by the IRS, “Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In many cases, an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund”.
As the current year tax season gathers momentum, our first post of 2015 is a reminder to be extra vigilant as tax documents begin to arrive in the mail and you start to gather your files to file personally or bring to your accountant.
Now that the IRS has specifically targeted this scam as the “leader” of the dirty dozen, taxpayers and tax preparers should be that much more alert.
The potential damage to both the individual tax payer and, especially the tax preparer as trusted professional is worth using this space as a reminder to be mindful of taking every step imaginable to protect personally identifying information.
Store the data under virtual and physical lock and key; distribute only through secure methods; and when it has completed its useful life, be sure the data is securely disposed.
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