Income tax refund fraud has been a problem in recent years, and much of this fraud occurs when it comes to filing your taxes and waiting for the refund to be processed. The Better Business Bureau (BBB), along with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), recommends certain tips to help taxpayers prepare and submit their paperwork quickly to ensure their tax return is protected.
Identity theft has become an issue over recent years through data breaches of many trusted tax sites. The IRS recommends tax preparers be cautious when it comes to sending information for taxes. Fake clients have been known to ask for help with tax returns by sending tax preparers infected email attachments. Once these attachments are opened, the virus has already made its way into the computer system, hacking into important client information.
Information can be protected through filing returns via a computerized e-filing system. The preparer can also have the refunds deposited directly into a bank account through a secured system to protect the refund. Not only do these systems get the job done in a more efficient manner, but they also protect the confidential information involved in the tax submission and refund.
The following tips are helpful when it comes to speeding up the refund process and preventing fraud or theft:
- Check the credentials of the tax preparer, ensuring that the preparer is a certified public account, tax attorney or enrolled agent.
- Get referrals for tax preparers from friends, family, the local Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau.
- Avoid using tax preparers who promise they can produce larger refunds than their competitors.
- Do not sign a blank tax return, even if the tax preparer states that this is solely for “convenience” purposes.
- Carefully review the contract entered into with the tax preparer.
- Ensure that submission of tax documents is done via a secured Internet connection and not through a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Shred copies of tax returns, drafts or calculation sheets that are no longer needed.
- If the preparer does not wish to file electronically, mail the tax return in a USPS mailbox or directly at the post office.
- Ignore unsolicited telephone calls or emails that state they are from the IRS but do not appear to be official.
- Respond to any communication that is official as soon as possible, or at least send the communication to your accountant or tax preparer.
Click here to read more on this story.
If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.