Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is Jan. 25 to 29. This week is dedicated to educating the public on how to protect themselves from tax-related crimes.
Tax identity theft occurs when an individual uses stolen personal information, such as a Social Security number, to file a fraudulent tax return and obtain a refund.
In recognition of this week, Pinellas County Consumer Protection will be at the Dunedin Library, located at 223 Douglas Ave. on Monday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. An investigator will be available to answer your questions about - tax identity theft and other consumer related topics.
Proactive steps to lessen the chance of becoming a victim include:
- filing tax returns early in the tax season
- using a secure internet connection to file electronically
- mailing tax returns directly from the post office
- shredding any extra copies of tax documents
- responding to mail from the IRS as soon as possible
- remembering that the IRS will not contact taxpayers by email, text or social media
- only giving out Social Security numbers or Medicare numbers when absolutely necessary
- free tax preparation help is available for qualifying taxpayers at “Tax Time, Need Help?”
- checking credit reports at least once a year free of charge
Those who believe they are victims of tax identity theft should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490. For more information about identity theft, contact Pinellas County Consumer Protection at (727) 464-6200.
For more information, visit http://go.activecalendar.com/pinellascounty/site/pressrelease/event/beware-of-tax-identity-theft/.