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Keep Your Tax Returns Safe from Identity Thieves

Scammers can use the sensitive personal information in your tax return to steal your identity and even take your tax refund. Here are some tips to minimize your risk:

  • Make sure that anyone helping to prepare your taxes is trustworthy.
  • File taxes early in the tax season to reduce the window of time in which a thief could fraudulently file under your Social Security number.
  • If filing electronically, only submit forms through a secure Internet connection.
  • If filing by mail, go to the post office directly to mail the envelope.
  • Do not respond to email messages asking for your personal information that claim to be from the IRS. If the IRS needs to contact you, it will do so by mail.

An unexpected message from the IRS could be a tip off that an identity thief is misusing your Social Security number. Contact the IRS if you receive a notice that:

  • More than one tax return was filed in your name
  • IRS records show you were paid by an employer you don’t know

If you get such a message from the IRS or suspect that someone has stolen your Social Security number, call the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.

Learn more about protecting yourself from tax-related identity theft.