It’s one of the busiest times of the year - tax season! While it is very important to file your taxes before the deadline, it is also important to ensure that you take the proper precautions when doing so.
In the past, you might not have had any problems with filing your taxes. However, with the growing use and ease of the internet, identity thieves are finding new and unique ways to gather your personal information when you least expect it.
What You Need To Know About Tax Season
Tax season takes place between January 1st and April 15th. It is the busiest season for accounting professionals and taxpayers. During this three and a half month period, individuals and businesses prepare their financial statements from the previous year in order to report their earnings. Tax refunds are the return of excess income tax that an individual has paid to the government over the last year. If eligible, taxpayers can receive a tax refund after filing for their taxes.
Risks You Are Susceptible To During Tax Season
Whether you are filing your taxes yourself or hiring a professional to do so, it is important to be well aware of the risks associated with tax season. When it comes to filing your taxes, you must fill out forms which require personal information and confidential data. If leaked, this data could leave you vulnerable to a security breach and/or identity theft.
Tax-related identity theft can occur when another individual gets a hold of your personal information that you’ve used on your tax forms. This individual can then use your social security number as their own in order to file fraudulent tax returns and claim a false refund. While the Internal Revenue Service (The IRS) is dedicated to preventing fraudulent tax returns, unfortunately, some individuals still manage to get away with it. Therefore, it is your duty as a citizen to ensure that you are filing your taxes on time and in such a way that leaves you less vulnerable to identity theft.
Keep reading to learn more about how to protect yourself from from identity theft during tax season with these simple tips.
File Your Taxes Early
At South Bay Document Destruction, we strongly encourage you to plan ahead and file your taxes ahead of time. When you file your taxes early, you reduce the risk of becoming a victim of tax-related identity theft. By filing your taxes first, you are able to beat identity thieves to the punch. If someone manages to get their hands on your personal information after you’ve personally filed for your taxes, they will no longer be able to claim your tax refund as their own.
Keep Your Personal Data Safe
When it comes to personal information of any sort, it is important to make sure you keep that information safe… especially the information you need to provide during tax season! This information contains data regarding your personal earnings, date of birth, your social security number, and much more. Be mindful, identity thieves are motivated to benefit from your personal earnings! As a taxpayer, you should make sure to take measures to ensure that your data doesn’t get into the wrong hands. This can simply be done by avoiding usage of unsecured wifi networks in public areas, by routinely changing your online passwords, storing your physical and digital documents in a safe and secure place, and by not carrying your social security card at all times on your persons.
Avoid Phishy Tax Scams
More often than not, individuals and businesses fall victim to a variety of tax scams. It is important to recognize the methods that identity thieves use to scam citizens of thousands of dollars in tax refunds. From email warnings to phone threats, identity thieves are finding more and more creative ways to steal your information. Oftentimes, they will make up a false story, claim to be the IRS or some sort of authority figure, and generate authentic looking letterheads to sneakily capture information from individuals that do not know any better. They often demand that your relinquish your information on the spot in order to avoid getting deported, arrested, or receive another form of punishment. Remember, the IRS does not and will not contact you as a taxpayer by email, text, or phone call and demand you fess up your personal information. If you are every unsure, contact the IRS personally to confirm.
Destroy Outdated Information
When information is no longer needed, it is important to ensure that you rid yourself of the data by properly destroying it. Whether the information is stored on a hard drive or filed away in a binder, it is vital that you destroy documents in such a way that protect you from liability. At SBDD, our services include document shredding, hard drive shredding, product destruction, document and record storage, and scanning.
Contact South Bay Document Destruction
At South Bay Document Destruction, we make security and customer service our top priorities. We’ve been in the business for over 40 years and we offer state of the art security and monitoring to ensure that your documents are stored and disposed of in a safe manner. We offer a variety of document destruction services that are designed to protect you from security breaches and identity theft. Whether it is during tax season or throughout the year, it is important to take the initiative to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your business from becoming a victim of fraud.
If you want to learn more about our document destruction services and how South Bay Document Destruction can protect your confidential information during tax season, be sure to visit our website or call us at (310)-217-9985. Contact SBDD today, your #1 document shredding company in the South Bay California area!