Published on: December 13, 2017 Last modified: October 21, 2020

Technology and Identity Theft

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    While the IRS has in place a number of tax return protection measures, these methods have not always been so successful in preventing identity fraud from taking place. Those inventing schemes to file false tax returns while using someone else’s identify often stay ahead of the preventive measures used by tax officials.

    Though technology provides all of us certain advantages when it comes to tasks such as shopping or making travel arrangements, it also has its downside. It makes it easier for hackers and cybercriminals to steal personal data.

    Storage of information on databases

    We often provide personal information such as Social Security numbers to doctors, banks, schools, and credit agencies. This information may be stored indefinitely on a database. If hacked, your information is then available. In fact, millions of cases of identity theft occur because of this every year.

    You may discover you are the victim of tax fraud through a notice stating the IRS cannot process your return. The reason why problems in processing arise can be due to someone already filing a tax return in your name. Should this occur, the IRS may place a hold on your return. This could mean you will face difficulties in receiving any tax refund due to you. It can also become a hassle in getting the refund you deserve.

    Filing early to prevent identity theft

    One suggestion for combating identity theft is for Michigan taxpayers simply to file federal tax returns early. Filing early can mean you will receive any applicable refund before anyone stealing your data has time to file a false return. That, of course, may not be that easy. Tax forms are becoming increasingly complex, and organizing information included in tax returns may be time consuming.

    Should you be a victim of identity theft, you may require the services of an attorney to provide assistance. This assistance includes negotiating with the IRS and resolve any tax issues that may arise.

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