Great article on how to protect yourself from ID theft (and having your tax return rejected due to duplicate filing). The ID thieves have found easy money at the IRS. With your social security number and name, anyone can file a return claiming a tax refund.

The ID thief files the return with a phony W-2.  Within a few days, the money shows up in their account and the IRS cannot stop it.

Here’s how it happens:  The ID thief files early in January. IRS programmed its computer to quickly transmit the refund to the bank account shown on the phony return.

The IRS computer does not know the name on the bank account. Thief opens a bank account using an alias with a fake ID.  Next, he withdraw the money in cash with a debit card.

Later, when you file, the IRS computer rejects your return (thinking that yours is duplicate filing).

For 2017, the IRS, the states and the tax industry joined together to enact new safeguards and take additional actions to combat tax-related identity theft. Many of these safeguards will be invisible to you,but invaluable to our fight against these criminal syndicates.

Here is what to do: “Safe Lock” your return. If you have shopped at Target, Neiman Marcus, E-Bay, you have an account with Sprint, Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile or provided your social security number to a doctors or dentist office or you just believe that someone has your personal information, there is a new IRS form that you can file to place a “Safe Lock” on your account with the IRS.

Contact us if you need assistance with enabling more security on your IRS accounts and protecting your personal data from a breach.