Make us your home page
Instagram

Tips for filing income taxes safely and avoiding ID theft

These tips to help people file their taxes safely and avoid identity theft are from Scambook, an Internet complaint resolution site.

Know who's helping: Work with someone familiar and, more important, trustworthy. (The Internal Revenue Service requires anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation to have a valid 2013 preparer tax identification number.)

Mail taxes personally: Don't put taxes in others' hands.

Use secure WiFi to e-file: If filing through TurboTax or another online program, be sure to send personal information through a secure password-protected wireless Internet connection. Public WiFi should not be used.

Save to CD or flash drive, then delete computer files: If e-filing, use a strong password to protect the data file. Save the file to a CD or flash drive and then delete the personal return information from the hard drive. Store the CD or flash drive in a safe place, such as a lockbox or safe.

Watch out for IRS email scams: A huge red flag is an "IRS email" because the IRS does not contact the public electronically to request information.

Shred hard documents once unnecessary: Don't discard old documents without shredding.

Check mail ASAP: If expecting a refund or other information after taxes are filed, make sure to check the mail every day. Don't leave it sitting in the mailbox.

If you suspect you're a victim of identity theft, take action right away: Get IRS Form 14039 and send it in immediately. An Initial Fraud Alert with one of the big three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion) should also be filed, and an Identity Theft Report on www.ftc.gov should be created.

Tips for filing income taxes safely and avoiding ID theft 04/14/13 [Last modified: Sunday, April 14, 2013 5:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump shuts down CEO advisory councils as main group acts to disband

    Business

    President Donald Trump's main council of top corporate leaders disbanded on Wednesday following the president's controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them. Soon after, the president announced on Twitter that he would end his executive councils, "rather than …

    President Donald Trump meets with Merck's chief executive, Kenneth Frazier, second from left, and other leaders of the pharmaceutical industry in the Roosevelt Room of the White House last January. On Wednesday, Trump's main council of top corporate leaders disbanded following the president's controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them.
[New York Times file photo]
  2. A long-awaited vision for Tampa's Westshore Marina District

    Real Estate

    TAMPA —Eleven years after plans to develop a waterfront tract on the Tampa side of the Gandy Bridge were first announced, a new rendering gives a hint of what Westshore Marina District ultimately will look like.

    Rendering of Marina Pointe, a condo project overlooking Tampa Bay as part of the Westshore Marina District. [Courtesy of Masterfile Corp.}
  3. Buddy Brew Coffee to open downtown Tampa location

    Business

    TAMPA — Buddy Brew Coffee plans to open a new location in downtown Tampa at Park Tower in early 2018. The specialty coffee craft roaster, which was founded in 2010, has five other locations throughout Tampa including the Oxford Exchange, Sarasota, Hyde Park Village and Terminal F inside the Tampa International …

    A cappuccino is displayed at Buddy Brew in Tampa in January 2017. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  4. Where to pig out for National Bacon Lovers Day

    Food & Dining

    That's right: Sunday is the national day devoted to all things bacon, National Bacon Lovers Day. Which, really, isn't too different from the other 364 days of the year. But here's a little roundup of some special places to celebrate everyone's favorite meat snack (seriously, even vegans have a grudging respect …

    A creme-filled doughnut topped with maple frosting and bacon at Dough on MacDill Avenue in Tampa.
  5. The Penny Hoarder tops 79 fastest growing Tampa Bay companies on Inc. 5000

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Penny Hoarder on Wednesday further cemented its reputation as one of the country's fastest growing companies. The personal finance web site business ranks 25th nationwide and tops in the Tampa Bay market for growth on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing businesses.

    Vishal Mahtani (left), vice president of business development, Alexis Grant (center), executive editor, and Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, celebrate the news with their staff  Wednesday of making the new Inc. 5000 ranking of fastest growing companies in the country. They enjoyed champagne during a catered lunch at their office in downtown St. Petersburg after ranking 25th nationwide and tops in the Tampa Bay market for growth on the just released 2017 Inc. 5000. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times ]