Don't Let the Equifax Breach Bite You at
Tax Filing Time .. Protect Yourself
Things move quickly in this era of the internet and social media. Yesterday's news is quickly erased from our memories and replaced with today's headlines ...
An example of this is last Fall's Equifax breach (announced on September 7th, 2017). This breach quickly fell off the news radar.
That's not good because this devastating data compromise could now come back to bite the approximately 145 million Americans affected by the Equifax Breach.
How and Why?
Social Security Numbers. Social Security Numbers were part of the data put at risk by the breach.
Those stolen Social Security Numbers can serve as fodder for crooks to file fraudulent tax returns and gain access to your tax refunds. As we enter the 2017 tax filing season, you and other taxpayers need to be aware of this existing danger and take pro-active measures to protect yourselves.
- File your Return as early as possible
- Take steps to prepare yourself for a quick, but accurate filing
- Start gathering documentation, receipts, and records from your employer (or 1099's), financial institutions, charitable donations, student loans, mortgage holder, property tax escrows, deductible expenses, etc. NOW
- Make yourself a list of ALL the items you will need to file your Tax Return
- Check the items off as you receive them
- Monitor/Check websites of Credit Cards, financial institutions, etc. for online access to documentation needed
By performing these pro-active measures, you prepare yourself to input the gathered info on your Return quickly and efficiently. These actions will also benefit a tax consultant and minimize the time they need for filing your Return (should you seek the assistance of a paid professional tax advisor).
- Your Social Security Number (or ITIN)
- Your Filing Status
- Your EXACT Refund Amount