Risk Management Tip
While identity theft is a year-round threat, tax season is particularly dangerous. Employers, banks, brokerage firms and others are mailing you the important documents you need to file tax returns. To protect yourself from thieves who may get ahold of these items, make sure to take the following steps:
- File your tax return as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the IRS does not contact taxpayers by email to request information.
- Rent a P.O. Box at a U.S. Post Office for sensitive mail.USPS employees are required to pass background checks.
- Keep notes of when expected tax forms arrive. If forms are delayed, call the sender to find out why. If mail theft is suspected, immediately contact your local office or the Postal Inspector’s Office.
- If you’re filing online:
o Use a site that starts with “https,” which indicates the information is being transmitted safely.
o Be careful about emailing returns or sending them over peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, and make sure you are using secure connections and email addresses that haven’t been compromised.
o Be sure to store your completed tax returns in a protected file.
- After filing your tax returns, check the status of your IRS funds here.Most refunds are processed within 21 days after receiving a return.