IRS Tax Tips to Protect Your Personal Information - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

IRS Tax Tips to Protect Your Personal Information

Posted: Updated:

It is a busy time for accountants as tax season is in full swing.  News 13 has information to help you avoid tax-related scams in this Problem Solver report.

The Internal Revenue Service is alerting taxpayers to be on the lookout for criminals who pose as the IRS.  They can try to reach you by phone and email and will use the agency to get your attention.  But, the IRS says it does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.  This includes text messages and social media.  

According to the IRS, it does not ask for personal identification, passwords or credit card information.  Beware of any suspicious emails and do not open any attachments that may come with them.

Here are suggestions from the Internal Revenue Service to protect against scams and more.

•Don't carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

•Don't give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required.

•Check your credit report every 12 months.

•Secure personal information in your home.

•Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam/virus software, updating security patches and changing passwords for Internet accounts.

•Don't give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact and are sure of the recipient.

For more information, see the special identity theft section on IRS.gov and IRS Fact Sheet 2014-1, IRS Combats Identity Theft and Refund Fraud on Many Fronts.