• Beware of IRS-related scams. If you receive an email or phone call asking for your personal or financial information, delete it or send it to the FTC at email@example.com for investigation. The IRS will never email taxpayers about issues related to their accounts or ask for your Social Security number or financial details over the phone. If you have any doubt whether a contact from the IRS is authentic, call them directly to confirm it.
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• Review carefully if filing with a third party. When using software, CPA or national tax agency to prepare your taxes, ensure you are reviewing all the information carefully and that all the original paperwork is returned to you.
• Be diligent if you are e-filing. With e-filing, evidence of fraud is difficult to find—there are no signed tax forms, envelopes, or fingerprints. It’s easy for criminals to e-file using a real name and SSN and a phony W-2 or Schedule C. If you're filing your taxes online, be sure to use updated firewall, antivirus, and spyware software.
• Take precautions if mailing your filing. If filing by mail, walk the envelope inside of the post office and hand it to an employee. Too much mail is stolen out of the USPS and driveway mailboxes. Send your return by certified mail so that you know it has arrived safely. This also sends a message to each mail carrier that they had better provide extra protection to the document they are carrying.