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Tax News: Scam Risks Remain During Pandemic

2021-11-23 16:34

dave rosa

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Tax News: Scam Risks Remain During Pandemic

Beware of scams not during the holidays but throughout the year.

 

 

FLAT FEE TAX RELIEF

Coast to Coast - IRS Help

IRS Tax Relief - Tax Debt Help

 

Scam risks remain during the pandemic;

Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Protect personal and financial information online

 

Flat Fee Tax relief is taking this opportunity to remind people to take these basic steps:

1. Be sure to use security software for computers and mobile phones – and keep it updated.

2. Always avoid phishing scams, especially related to tax refunds and COVID-19, Economic Impact Payments, and other tax law changes.

3. Use strong and unique passwords for all accounts.

4. Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible.

5. Shop only secure websites; look for the "HTTPS" in web addresses and the padlock icon. Don't shop on unsecured and public Wi-Fi in places like coffee shops, malls, or restaurants.

 

Giving Tuesday: Beware of scammers using fake charities

 

The IRS professionals at Flat Fee Tax Service are warning people to avoid getting scammed when donating to charities. We are providing the following tips:

1. Individuals should never let any caller pressure them into giving a donation without allowing time for them to do some research.

2. Confirm the charity is real by asking for its exact name, website, and mailing address and confirming it later.

3. Be careful about how a donation is made. After researching the charity, pay by credit card or check and never by gift card or wiring money.

 

Get an Identity Protection PIN From The IRS

 

Taxpayers who can verify their identities online may opt into the IRS IP PIN program – a major expansion of the program from previous years. This is another tool taxpayers can use to protect themselves – and their tax refund. Here's what taxpayers need to know:

1. The Identity Protection PIN or IP PIN is a six-digit code known only to the individual and the IRS. It provides another layer of protection for taxpayers' Social Security numbers on tax returns.

2. Use the Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) tool at IRS.gov/ippin to immediately get an IP PIN.

3. Never share the IP PIN with anyone but a trusted tax provider.

 

Tax professionals should review their security protocols

 

As identity thieves continue targeting tax professionals, the IRS and the Summit partners urge practitioners to review the "Taxes-Security-Together" Checklist, including:

1. Deploy basic security measures.

2. Use multi-factor authentication to protect tax software accounts.

3. Create a Virtual Private Network if working remotely.

4. Create a written data security plan as required by federal law.

5. Know about phishing and phone scams, especially related to Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs), COVID-19 related tax-law changes including Economic Impact Payments.

6. Create data security and data theft recovery plans.

7. Use digital signatures to submit IRS forms and check account details on a secure portal

 

Businesses should implement safeguards; watch out for tax-related scams

 

  • Most cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Here are some details from this segment:
  • Learn about best security practices for small businesses.
  • IRS continues protective masking of sensitive information on business transcripts.
  • A Business Identity Theft Affidavit – Form 14039-B – is available for all businesses to report the theft to the IRS.
  • Beware of various scams, especially the W-2 scam that attempts to steal employee income information.
  • Check out the "Business" section on IRS's Identity Theft Central at IRS.gov/identitytheft.

 

The above information does not apply solely to the holiday season. Scammers work all day, every day. Stay one step ahead. Be vigilant.

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