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Tips for Avoiding Tax Scams
Tax-related identity theft and business fraud is big business. Tax scams cause individual taxpayers and businesses millions of dollars in losses every year. In this blog, we offer tips for reducing your risk of becoming a tax fraud victim.
File Your Taxes Early
The longer you wait to file your taxes, the more likely a fraudster will submit a return in your name and collect your refund. Many taxpayers do not realize they are tax fraud victims until the IRS rejects their return. Filing your taxes early reduces ensures an expedited refund and reduces your exposure to identity theft and business fraud.
Choose a Reputable Tax Preparer
Most tax preparers are honest but not all have your best interest at heart. Be wary of tax preparers who base their fees on a percentage of your refund. Always verify professional credentials and check ratings with the Better Business Bureau before choosing a tax preparer.
Be Smart Online
The internet has made it easier than ever for fraudsters to steal your personal information. Scammers posing as the IRS and tax professionals target individuals and business online. They send emails and text messages with fraudulent links and attachments hoping the recipient will open them and volunteer their personal information. The IRS will never contact you by email, text, or social media. If you suspect you a fraudster is targeting you with a phishing scam, report it to the IRS at https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing.
Protect Your Tax Records
The IRS requires taxpayers to keep their tax records for at least three years. During that period, store your tax related documents in a secure location where thieves cannot steal them. A records storage service offers an ideal storage solution. Your documents are stored in a records center equipped with the following systems:
- Access monitoring
- 24/7 surveillance
- Motion sensors
Only background-screened records management professionals have access to the records center. They use barcode technology and state-of-the-art inventory management systems to track your tax records.
Shred Your Expired Returns
Never discard confidential documents, including expired tax records, in a trash or recycling bin. Instead, use a paper shredding service. Your shredding provider destroys your tax records at your place of business with a mobile shredding truck. They provide a Certificate of Destruction after completing your on-site shredding project.
When it comes to avoiding tax scams, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Use these tips to stay safe.
Records Management Center provides businesses throughout Augusta, Evans, Thomson, Martinez, GA, Aiken, SC, and the Central Savannah River Area with professional shredding and destruction solutions.