As your trusted consultant, we suggest the following:
- Truncate Social Security Numbers (SSNs) where possible or mask them on insurance cards.
- Monitor credit reports (this goes for personal and business) at least annually.
- Request that clients forward any IRS notices immediately.
- Keep Social Security cards and financial information in a secure location and properly dispose of documents with SSNs or account numbers.
- Give out an SSN, birthdate or address only if required.
- Buy and use a shredder.
- Protect personal and company computers with firewalls, anti-spam, or anti-virus software; regularly change passwords and password-secure wireless connections.
- Be mindful of the personal information divulged on social media, as hackers are getting increasingly sophisticated.
- Educate employees about phishing (attempts by fraudsters to acquire information via electronic communications by posing as a legitimate entity).
- Remind employees not to open links or attachments from emails they were not expecting to receive.
- Updating business filing with the IRS and with state business registries as soon as any contact information changes.
- If possible, consider filing business tax returns earlier in tax season.
- Forward phishing emails purported to be from the IRS per the forwarding instructions on the IRS website.
Tax-related identity theft is rapidly rising. Remember, we are here to protect your finances. We will do our best to be mindful of these suggestions, but we need your efforts too!
Also remember, the IRS will never contact you via email or phone demanding payment. The IRS will also never threaten to involve authorities or immigration. If you feel you have been approached by a phisher, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.