Attorney General Ashley Moody is urging Floridians to take action to prevent identity theft this tax season in recognition of Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. To raise awareness about tax identity scams, Attorney General Moody is offering tips to help taxpayers protect sensitive information.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As Floridians prepare to file taxes, it is important to take steps to make sure sensitive financial information is protected. There are some simple steps every taxpayer can take to guard against identity theft, and in recognition of Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, my office is offering several tips to help better protect all taxpayers.”
Tax identity thieves will sometimes take extreme measures to access personal information, such as searching through trash cans and dumpsters to find bills and documents; calling, emailing or texting individuals to gain personal information; or posing as a legitimate tax preparer.
To guard against these tactics, taxpayers should:
- Use a secure internet connection when filing electronically. Do not use unsecure, publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots;
- Review a tax preparer’s qualifications before hiring. Any individual with a Preparer Tax Identification Number may prepare and file tax returns for clients; however, there are different levels of credentials, skills and expertise. Click here to find a qualified tax preparer at specific a credential level;
- Check for complaints against the preparer or company with the Better Business Bureau at BBB.org;
- Confirm that any preparer claiming to be an attorney is in good standing with the Florida Bar at FloridaBar.org;
- Ensure to connect with a tax preparer after you file, even after tax season concluded. Should the IRS reject a return or need additional information, reaching a preparer is needed; and
- Dispose of old tax records properly. Never place tax returns or supporting documents in the trash; burn or shred old records before disposal.