Protecting Yourself From Tax Identity Theft: Capata’s Tips to Minimize Risk

Protecting Yourself From Tax Identity Theft: CAPATA’s Tips to Minimize Risk

In an increasingly digital world, tax identity theft has become a major concern. Criminals can use your personal information to file fraudulent tax returns and claim your refund. At CAPATA, we understand the importance of safeguarding your personal and financial information. Here are some essential tips to help you minimize the risk of tax identity theft:

File Early

One of the most effective ways to protect yourself from tax-related identity theft is to file your tax return as early as possible. According to Mark Steber, Chief Tax Information Officer at Jackson Hewitt, filing early reduces the chances of a criminal submitting a fraudulent return using your information before you do. By being proactive, you can ensure that your legitimate return is processed first, making it harder for identity thieves to succeed.

Wait for Necessary Forms

While it is important to file early, it is equally crucial to ensure you have all the necessary tax forms before submitting your return. Missing or incomplete information can lead to errors, which may cause the IRS to flag your return and delay your refund. Make sure you gather all relevant documents, such as W-2s, 1099s, and other income statements, to avoid potential complications.

Year-Round Precautions

Protecting your identity is not just a seasonal task but a year-round responsibility. The IRS recommends several measures to safeguard your information continuously:

  • Use Strong Passwords: Create complex passwords that are difficult to guess and change them regularly.
  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication: Add an extra layer of security to your accounts by enabling multi-factor authentication, which requires a second form of verification beyond just your password.
  • Utilize Encryption Programs: Encrypt sensitive data to protect it from unauthorized access.
  • Regular Software Updates: Keep your computer and mobile device software up to date to protect against vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals.

Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)

For added security, consider obtaining an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) from the IRS. This six-digit number helps prevent someone else from using your Social Security number or taxpayer identification number to file a tax return. Once you enroll in the IP PIN program, the IRS will issue a new IP PIN each year, providing an additional layer of protection for your tax filings.

Taking these precautions can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to tax identity theft. At CAPATA, we are committed to helping you protect your financial well-being. If you have any concerns or questions about tax identity theft, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team. Your security is our priority, and we are here to assist you with all your tax-related needs.

Stay safe and secure with CAPATA – your trusted partner in Financial Protection.

CAPATA is a full-service accounting firm located in Laguna Niguel in southern California.

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