Protecting Clients from Tax-Related Identity Theft

Tax-related identity theft is a continuing problem, with the National Tax Advocate reporting that the use of stolen Social Security numbers to collect fraudulent tax refunds increased more than 78 percent from 2011 to 2012, affecting nearly 450,000 individuals. Experian's ProtectMyID service offered the following advice for ways that taxpayers can protect themselves. A trustworthy tax preparer is an important part of the solution.

Place tax documents in a secure location, such as a safe or a locking file cabinet, and store them there until needed to prepare tax forms. Do not leave them in a car.

Photo from Shutterstock

Some tax apps require users to take photos of W2 forms. Be sure to delete images after use.

Photo from Shutterstock

Password-protect your smartphone.

Photo from Shutterstock

Do not follow links in emails or text messages to the IRS site. Always type "irs.gov" directly into a browser to avoid vicious links. Report fraudulent IRS emails, texts or phone calls to phishing@irs.gov.

Photo from Shutterstock

Keep operating systems and all computer protection software up to date.

Photo from Shutterstock

Do not use public computers to e-file taxes.

Photo from Shutterstock

Tax preparers should tell clients about the security measures employed by their offices.

Photo from Shutterstock

Tax preparers should not ask clients to sign blank tax returns.

Photo from Shutterstock

Wipe the hard drive before disposing of or donating an old computer that contains personal or financial information.

Photo from Shutterstock

Monitor credit reports regularly.

Photo from Shutterstock



The HR Helpline

Consultants Tamera Loerzel and Jennifer Wilson of ConvergenceCoaching answer tough HR questions.

View the slideshow >>


Back-to-School Tax Tips

With the start of school just around the corner, taxpayers should be aware of the following tax breaks and deductions available for qualifying expenses, according to the audit defense service TaxAudit.com.

View the slideshow >>


Tax Tips for Newlyweds

Once they stop being Bride- and Groomzillas, new couples need tax advice

View the slideshow >>


Summer Tax Tips for Your Clients and Their Children

Summer is well underway, and now is a great time to help your clients and their dependents with the tax tips in this slideshow written by Michael Sonnenblick of Thomson Reuters Checkpoint.

View the slideshow >>


Tax Savings from a Home Office

Tips on how to make working at home pay, from the Illinois CPA Society

View the slideshow >>


10 Tips on Amending a Tax Return

The IRS shares some advice on fixing a return

View the slideshow >>


CPAs and Tax Pros Gone Wrong

Some of our favorite examples of professionals breaking bad

View the slideshow >>


Accountants Giving Back

A look at the many ways different CPA firms are contributing to their communities

View the slideshow >>


2016 Summer Reading for Accountants

Short, useful reads for your summer vacation

View the slideshow >>


12 Questions to Ask Your Cloud Provider

Moving to Web-based apps? Get answers to these questions first.

View the slideshow >>