Safe Family: Protecting your tax refund

By: Nicole Holt Email
By: Nicole Holt Email

Tax time is coming up, and there's another good reason not to delay when filing your return -- thieves might try to steal your refund.

As electronic filing and direct-deposit refunds become more popular, the IRS says thieves are looking for instant gratification as well.

When they get your Social Security number, they can file a false return and get paid almost immediately with a "refund anticipation loan," a high interest advance loan.

And you get stuck with nothing!

Here's how it can happen...


Red Flag:
Return Already Filed
Contact Police, IRS, Credit Bureaus

You file your return with a tax preparer.

The IRS red-flags you when they find out another return has already been filed in your name.

That's when you must contact your local authorities, as well as the IRS investigating division, credit bureaus , and anyone else you can think of.

Where do thieves find your Social Security number?

Just about any worker at a tax commercial tax preparer can call up hundreds of them in seconds.

So find someone you trust and keep good records.

You will need all of them if you ever have to dispute the IRS.

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