Tax season is here again, and that means it’s time for a refresher on keeping our data safe while we file our returns. During the process, the IRS will collect personally identifiable information (PII) that is commonly transmitted online. Potential thieves are aware of our vulnerabilities and are prepared to use them to their advantage. The IRS shares security awareness tax tips to help us safeguard our PII in an effort to prevent tax fraud and identity theft.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center:
- 250,000 new reports of identity theft were filed in 2016 with the IRS. Tax-related ID theft happens when criminals use your personal information to file for a tax refund with the IRS.
- Through September 2016, the IRS stopped 787,000 confirmed identity theft returns, totaling more than $4 billion.
- Having your PII stolen candamage your credit and cost you time. It can take upwards of 600 hours to restore a stolen identity.
To learn more about keeping data safe during tax season click here.