How to Protect Tax Forms from Getting Stolen or Tampered
Tax fraud seems to be a lucrative venture these days as IRS continues to report the issue of fraudulent tax refunds every year. Tax refund theft is becoming popular among criminals and getting sophisticated these days to the extent that some states reportedly stopped electronic fillings because of fraudulent returns. In fact, it is important to note that the IRS reported a whooping loss of about $6.5 billion to tax return fraud in 2014 and the subsequent years was even higher. The truth of the matter is that tax seasons are also a season of tax refund identity theft. This means that as tax payers file their tax returns during the tax season, identity thieves are also working to commit fraud. Therefore, it is important for tax payers to learning how to protect tax forms from getting stolen or tampered.
How to Protect Tax Return Forms
There are many things you can do to at least protect tax return form from getting stolen by criminals who use them to commit tax return fraud. While these things may not guarantee a total protection, it could go a long way in protecting you from these issues every tax filing season.
1. Use PDFelement for Your Tax Return Forms
The tax return forms are PDF documents and the good thing is that with PDFelement you can always add a password and permission to the tax return forms.
PDFelement provides the perfect solution to prevent these forms from getting stolen because you can set up a password for the forms to prevent thieves from gaining access to it. You can protect tax form and avoid identity theft, it is that simple.
2. File As Early as Possible
It is important not to keep your tax return from hanging, it can be exposed to criminals. One way of beating these criminals to their game is to file your tax return as early as you can. The chances of falling for these thieves will be eliminated once your tax return has been filed because after that your information will not be useable for them for that file season. However, it could become a problem in the following tax filing season. So the best thing to do is to file your taxes early and secure your tax forms at all times.
3. Get an Identity Protection Pin
One good measure the IRS has taken in recent times is to introduce identity protection pin to help protect tax payers against these frauds done by criminals. The pin number will help the IRS verify the identities of taxpayers e-filing their taxes. IRS will send this pin to interested tax payers but you need to contact them. Note that the pin validity is for one tax year.
Why Protecting Tax Return Form from Getting Stolen
The importance of protecting your tax return forms from getting stolen cannot be overemphasized for the following reasons.
1. Thieves will commit a tax return fraud with your stolen tax return form. It is important to mention that one of the ways these thieves commit tax refund fraud with your stolen tax return forms is by using your social security number to file a tax return. Your tax form contains a social security number and these criminals will get the number on the stolen tax return forms. Apart from the social security number, these criminals will get your birth date and your name and this is just what is needed to file a tax refund in your name. With this, it is possible for these criminals to file tax return using your identity using a fake W-2 information. The IRS will likely detect the discrepancy especially when they receive the employers' wage data report but the issue is that it is always too late to recover the funds.
2. It is also very important to protect your tax return form from getting stolen because resolving these issues could take a long time. In most cases, the tax payer will not be aware of the fraud until they go and file their tax return only to be told that tax return has been filed in their names. While the criminals can be caught, it would take a whole lot of time to resolve the issue. In fact, in some cases, issues bordering on tax return fraud could take months to resolve and this could become a problem for the tax payer. It could lead to emotional, physiological and physical breakdown on the part of the tax payer.
3. Note that despite the advances in security measures taken by the IRS to combat or prevent tax return frauds, it is still proving difficult to stop the activities of criminals every tax season. What this means is that tax payers are required to put in some extra measure themselves to defend themselves against tax return fraud as there is a limit to what the IRS can do in this regard.
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