Depending on where you live, you have a little over one month left to file your taxes. For many people tax season is a great relief as in coincides with some extra cash for your budget. For others, it is a difficult period of time as they have to scramble to make extra money. In this final tax countdown it can be easy to lose sight of important security measures. Here are a few tips for keeping your identity safe during tax season:
• Keep all your tax preparation documents in a locked drawer or file cabinet when you are not at home. Leaving these documents out opens you up for identity theft by a burglar or in-home employee.
• Track your mail carefully when you are sending or receiving tax documents. Check to make sure that these sensitive documents are received properly.
• Safeguard tax documents at your workplace or office. Don’t leave W-2 records out where a co-worker or thief could access them.
• Ask your tax preparer about their security policies. How do they store your tax records? Do they share your records with a third party?
• Keep old tax return records in a safe place. Instead of a box in the attic, try a locking cabinet or safe deposit box.
• Avoid tax related scams and frauds. Identity thieves and con artists love to prey on consumers during tax season. Read about common scams online here.
• Investigate suspicious changes in your taxes or notices from the IRS. Identity thieves can file using you personal information or can claim your children as their own dependents.
• Shred! Securely destroy any unneeded copies of tax documents by using a cross-cutting shredder before throwing them away.
Do you have more tips for a happy and safe tax season? Share your suggestion and feedback in the comments section below! We are on a mission to bring the best financial and money saving tips to the market to help consumers get lower loan rates, pay off their debts, review credit card offers and save money for their rainy day funds!