Tax season is something many Americans dread, as the process of filing returns can be complex. As such, many wait until the last possible minute to file. If you are one of these individuals, you may be shocked when you don’t receive your tax returns when you’re supposed to. This can be an indicator that you are a victim of tax identity theft. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading. The following blog explores what you must know about this form of identity theft and how a Los Angeles, California tax identity theft lawyer can assist you when trying to resecure your identity.
How Does Tax Identity Theft Work?
Tax identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to file a tax return. The goal is to receive your tax refund money instead of you. Generally, the only information necessary to commit tax identity theft is your name, date of birth, and social security number.
Unfortunately, many are unaware that their information has been compromised. Many taxpayers only find out they are a victim when they do not receive a return or are notified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
What Can I Do To Protect Myself?
If you are worried about tax identity theft, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. The most important thing is to shield your personal and sensitive information. Be sure not to visit websites that appear sketchy, only provide your information to legitimate agencies and businesses, and never share your information over email.
In the event there is a data breach, and your information has been impacted, be sure to change your passwords and update the security on your accounts. You should also turn on two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access.
You should also file your tax return as early as possible. Not only does this help you get a quicker return, but you will also prevent someone else from receiving your hard-earned refund.
If My Information’s Been Compromised, What Can I Do?
While someone else recovering your tax refund can be frustrating, this is only a sign of greater risk. Once someone has your information, they can apply for loans, open accounts in your name, and even crimes. As such, taking the necessary steps to recover your identity is crucial for your credit score and your life!
The first thing you should do when you discover your information has been compromised is report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Based on the information you provide, they will create a personalized recovery plan for you.
Finally, you’ll want to contact an experienced attorney from Los Angeles Legal Solutions. Our dedicated legal team understands the complexities of these circumstances, so we’re ready to assist you when recovering your identity. Contact our firm today to discuss the details of your case with a member of our team.