All Points Mobile Shredding Blog
Are You Ready for Tax Season?
Here’s What You Need to Know To Protect Your Identity
Most folks do not look forward to tax season–even if you’re expecting to receive a refund, the process of doing taxes is tedious and stressful. And, with the added threat of ID thieves stealing your identity and possibly your tax refund, tax season adds even more anxiety to your life. But while everyone has to file their taxes, we do not have to fall victim to the latest schemes, frauds and scams–there are ways to protect yourself from ID theft. Take a look:
Taxes are due to the IRS by April 18–and while there’s always a possibility that the deadline could be extended, to protect yourself from ID theft, it’s best to file your taxes as early as possible. The earlier you file, the less likely it is that a thief will have the opportunity to steal your refund.
Be On the Lookout for Tax Documents in the Mail
Although some organizations provide digital copies of tax documents, there are still many that provide paper copies. If you are receiving tax papers through the US mail, it’s imperative that you are vigilant about checking your mail daily—these papers will often have the words “tax documents” stamped on the outside of the envelope, something ID thieves are on the lookout for. In the case of tax fraud, many crooks will scour the neighborhood mailboxes looking to steal these papers—and because these documents contain enough information to steal your identity or your tax refund, it’s critical they do not fall into the wrong hands.
Store Paperwork in a Secure Location
All documents that contain your confidential information need to be stored in a secure place and not be left lying around. This includes W-2s, 1099s, investment and real estate documents, school loans and tuition statements, credit card and bank account documents and other similar paperwork.
Be Aware of Phishing Schemes and the Latest Tax Scams
Each year ID thieves seem to get more savvy so it’s important to be aware of the latest schemes and be alert to any strange activity. Some schemes include fake charities, crooks impersonating IRS representatives, fraudulent text messages asking for personal and financial information, emails claiming to be from the IRS that may contain links, etc. Remember that the IRS will never call, text or email you asking for information, they only send written communication through the postal service. If you receive anything else, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Discard Old Tax Paperwork Safely
Old tax returns can pose a great risk–so it’s best to discard them securely by having them shredded by a reputable and NAID AAA certified shredding and destruction company. The typical timeframe recommended to keep old tax returns is 3 years, there are exceptions to this, so it’s best to ask your accountant or inquire with the IRS. The key consideration is that the longer you have all of these documents, the greater the risk that they can be compromised.
Check Your Credit Report Regularly
Many victims of tax fraud and ID theft only find out when it’s too late–they begin receiving bills for loans or credit cards they didn’t apply for or they never receive their tax refund. Checking your credit report on a regular basis can alert you to potential problems and help you discover fraudulent activity early.
All Points Mobile Shredding is a family-owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida. We provide full service shredding and destruction to residential and business customers throughout South Florida. Our shredding trucks come to you at your home or office and provide a certificate of destruction with every shred. Give us a call today or fill out this form to learn more.
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