Vincenza Vicari-Bentley, AFC
Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
If you’re anything like me, I am the ultimate procrastinator when it comes to filing my tax returns. But believe it or not theft in the time of tax returns is a lot more common than you might think and being a procrastinator isn’t best in this situation. Most people don’t know that they’ve been exposed to this type of theft until their tax return is denied. There are criminals out there that attempt to steal identities by filing false returns using your Social Security number. According to the IRS, in 2019, there were about 60,000 fraudulent tax returns filed and those returns were worth millions…….. $345.5 to be precise. While the IRS was able to prevent about 93% of those, there were still about $24 million worth of returns outstanding. Keep in mind that these statistics are only related to actual tax filings. So how can you protect yourself from scams at tax time? How can it pay to file early?
Here are some tips and types of scams to be aware of:
How can filing your taxes as soon as possible help you avoid theft? Filing early limits the window for scammers to use your Social Security number. While it’s always a good idea to protect your identity all year long, it’s especially important during tax season. Filing your taxes early doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of identity theft but it does help protect your refund. Filing your taxes as early as possible also means that you can focus on other tasks that put you on the path to building financial security and peace of mind. For more tips, tricks and hacks for your personal finances visit www.finance.usu.edu/efw
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