All Points Mobile Shredding Blog
The Coronavirus and Your Taxes
Increased Risk of Tax Refund Theft
As we all navigate through these difficult times, the last thing any of us want to think about is doing our taxes. Tax season is typically a stressful time of year for many folks, and now, as the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more trying. But thankfully, the IRS has extended the deadline for tax returns from April 15 to July 15—giving everyone a reprieve and an opportunity to take any additional time needed. Although this is good news, it’s important to be aware that there are risks in delaying your refund that can result in your tax return being stolen.
Tax Scams Increase During Coronavirus
It’s a fact of life that fear breeds vulnerability, and now, as the world lives in fear of the coronavirus and it’s rippling effect on people everywhere, it’s a particularly vulnerable time for many. Scammers and thieves are out there, looking for ways to obtain your personal information and to steal your tax refund. In a normal year, without the threat of a pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people are victims of tax theft. But now, with the coronavirus and the deadline for filing extended—there’s a potential for that number to increase exponentially. Here’s what you can do:
File As Early As You Can
Even though the deadline for tax returns has been extended, if you are able to file early, do so. The longer you wait, the more time a thief has to steal your refund.
What happens often in these scams is after you file your taxes you receive a notice in the mail stating that more than one tax return has been filed using your social security number. This means that your social was stolen and the criminal either used it to file or sold it to someone else who has now filed a tax return in your name and stolen your refund. The earlier you file; the less time the thieves have.
Watch Out for Scammers or Suspicious Requests for Your Information
Always be wary of anyone or any communication that asks for your personal information like your social security number, birthdate, etc. The IRS and other official government agencies do not call, text or email you to obtain personal information. Now, with the coronavirus outbreak, scammers are posing as the CDC, healthcare workers and other seemingly important professionals under the guise that they are offering testing or supplies that are in high demand. They call, text or even email with links that ask you to create an account. These are scams designed to capture your personal information that can then be used to file a tax return using your social.
Do Your Research Before Choosing a Tax Preparer
One surefire way to become a victim of tax return theft is to hire a fraudulent tax preparation service. Before using an online platform or hiring a profession tax preparer, do your research. Read reviews and ask for references to ensure that you are hiring a legitimate service.
Remember: The IRS Will Never Call You
The IRS will never call you to demand that you pay your taxes right away or threaten to jail you because your taxes haven’t been paid. If anyone ever calls you identifying themselves as an IRS representative, hang up immediately. They will also never email or text you requesting you click a link or call them back. If the IRS wants to correspond with you for any reason, they will send you a letter in the mail.
We at All Points Mobile Shredding are committed to helping you avoid tax return theft and ID theft. As a family-owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida, we are a part of the communities we serve and have been serving since 1994. For more information about what we do and how we can help you, please fill out this form or give us a call today.
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