Here’s Why You Might Want to File Your Taxes Early

March 25, 2021

With the IRS extending the tax filing deadline to May 17, 2021, fraudsters have more time for tax scams. Whether they are obtaining tax documents, filing fraudulent returns in victims’ names, or extorting payments with false threats of IRS action due to outstanding tax bills, scammers are always looking for new ways to take advantage of tax season. Here are a few tips on avoiding these types of scams this year.
File early 
When you file taxes before the deadline, scammers trying to file a fraudulent return using your name and personal information will be unable to do so. So the earlier you file, the better chance you have to reduce your risk of being a victim of this common tax scam.
Watch for unexpected contact 
Fraudsters send emails and make phone calls claiming to be from the IRS to encourage people to reveal personal or financial information. Emails may include links and attachments, which, if clicked on, can unleash ransom ware onto your computer.
Even when you have filed your return, criminals may call and request payment by normal means or by prepaid gift cards. Any interactions like this should be ignored.
Keep in mind, the IRS does not contact taxpayers through email, text message, or phone — only by mail. However, it is always important to take precautions for all mail you receive to ensure the sender is legitimate.
Shred personal documents
Your personal information is stored in many places, including printed documents. It is good practice to shred any documents you do not need anymore, and to keep all other documents with personal information in a safe place, such as a secure file cabinet or safe. Another good option is to keep an electronic copy of your important documents protected with a strong password. Then, you don’t have to worry about misplacing or damaging physical copies.
Secure refunds
You can make sure your refunds are secure by setting up direct deposit for any return you are expecting. This is easily done by providing the IRS with your financial institution’s routing number and your account number. Most financial institutions have this service available.
Scammers are clever and thousands of people fall prey to their ploys every year, losing millions of dollars in the process. If you think you may have been a victim of fraud, report the suspicious incident or correspondence to the IRS.

Tags: Taxes, Security