The time for gathering data and IRS tax filing is upon us. This year more than ever, it’s important to safeguard your personal and tax related information. Taxpayers, tax preparers, and businesses need to work together to prevent identity and asset theft.
Here are some tips to help you and your tax preparer have a smooth tax filing experience:
- Remember that the IRS will always contact you in writing. They do not call or email asking for payments or other information.
- If you have a W-2 prepared by a payroll service provider, look for the new 16 digit verification code. If you have one, be sure to enter this code during your electronic tax filing to speed up the approval process for refunds.
- Never provide any taxpayer information by email. Only provide by phone if it is during a phone call to a trusted party that you have initiated.
- Be prepared prior to electronically filing your 2016 tax return or contacting the IRS with a question. You will need to have access to a copy of your 2015 tax return to provide data that is used to verify your identity.
- It’s always important to create strong passwords for any online account access. And, be sure to use a secure, encrypted method, such as http://www.dropbox.com, when sharing files or other information with anyone else.
For more information, a copy of IRS Publication 4524 on taxes and security can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4524.pdf.