One of the reasons you may be subject to wage garnishment might not even be your fault. In this case, it is because someone has victimized you. When was the last time you had your identity stolen? Do you remember? Tax identity theft can be just as devastating and frustrating to undo as credit identity theft is. Luckily, we’ve come up with a list of ways you can shield yourself, your loved ones, and your business partners from just such an event.
Get Your Returns Filed ASAP
So the first thing you can do is to get your tax returns filed as soon as you can. This action is good advice anyways, but tax identity theft can happen when you least expect it. Therefore, you should do everything you can to prevent it. Otherwise, someone could use your exposed identity against you – perhaps a clever criminal who could have accessed your information and filed a fake return.
Initiate Credit Freezes or Fraud Alerts
The second line of defense involves letting your banks know. In other words, you can enact credit freezes. Alternatively, you could enable fraud alerts to inform you whenever something fishy regarding your tax identity happens. However, keep in mind that these procedures are not the same thing.
When you flag fraudulent activities through a fraud alert, your current creditors have more work to do on your behalf. They’ll need to verify that you are who you say you are. This measure becomes even more important when your social security card goes missing. It’s free to request and remove, though.
Credit freezes, also known as security freezes, carry a small service surcharge with them. Depending on where you live, the money amounts could be different. Since 2018, the government has mandated that credit reporting agencies offer their customers such responses free of charge.
Keep Your Sensitive Information Private
When it comes to protecting your tax identity, here’s one solid piece of advice: keep it secret, and keep it safe. In this case, being hypervigilant isn’t overreacting. Scammers will attempt to defraud you through phone calls or emails. They can also hide malware inside seemingly innocuous file attachments. Leave your Social Security card and its associated SSN somewhere safe. Along those lines, ensure that your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number remains confidential.
trust the professionals at the Harding group
Unlike other accounting firms, The Harding Group, located in Annapolis, MD, will never charge you for consultations and strive for open communication with our clients.
Are you interested in business advising, tax preparation, bookkeeping and accounting, payroll services, training + support for QuickBooks, or retirement planning? We have the necessary expertise and years of proven results to help.
We gladly serve clients in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore, Severna Park, and Columbia. If you are ready to take the stress out of tax time, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 573-9991 for a free consultation. For more tax tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.