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5 Tips How To Stay Secure During Tax Season 2018

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Follow these five tips that will help you file taxes without becoming a target of scammers during tax season 2018.

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  • Regarding tax scam, almost every year I always read thousands of complaints filed by people about the IRS scam. I just found recent reports at http://www.whycall.me/281-407-0678.html. Thank you for sharing this information. Hope everyone find this helpful.
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5 Tips How To Stay Secure During Tax Season 2018

  1. 1. 5 Tips How To Stay Secure During Tax Season 2018
  2. 2. Tax Season is just around the corner. You must be all set to prepare tax returns, do a lot of paperwork and deal with tax issues that are going to arise. It also means that you must be ready for the security risks that accompany tax season.
  3. 3. But most people ignore the importance of staying secure during the ‘busy season’. Are you one of them?
  4. 4. And numbers don’t lie.. From late January to early March 2017, the IRS identified 14,068 fraudulent returns involving identity theft, which is a most common tax scam.
  5. 5. And with more and more people filing their returns online, keeping tax returns safe is a growing issue. Keep these 5 tips in mind that will help you stay safe when you file your returns.
  6. 6. 1. Understand the Risk The first thing is to make sure you understand the dangers to your financial and personal data. This data includes your Social Security Numbers, your clients & dependent's’ details, old W-2 income and bank account information. The loss of this data could lead to identity theft and money loss.
  7. 7. Here Are Top Variations OF Tax Scams That You Should Watch Out For: 1. Identity Theft: It occurs when someone uses your Social Security Number (SSN) to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. 2. Phishing: It is an attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by a fake email or malicious website. 3. Phone Scams: Cyber criminals impersonating IRS agent can call you to steal your information. 4. Return Preparer Fraud: There are some dishonest tax preparers who can hurt your business. So credentials of the tax professional needs to be checked, rechecked. 5. Excessive Claims for Business Credits: Misuse of research credit and fuel tax credit can lead to several penalties. There are still dozens of tax scams. For the full list, read this summary from IRS.
  8. 8. If you have retained your financial information electronically on your computer, you should always make it secure using strong passwords, two-factor authentication or an encryption software. You should also secure a backup for this data to avoid the problems in case your local system fails. Cloud storage is one of the secure ways to save your records. 2. Secure the Devices
  9. 9. You can enhance the security of your device by using firewalls, anti-spam/virus software and up- to-date security patches in your operating system. Never file electronically over public Wi-Fi or unsecured public networks.
  10. 10. Remember that the key piece of information, a criminal wants is your Social Security Number (SSN). Along with your public information such as your name, phone number, address, and date of birth, SSN number can help them gain access to your financial information, open new credit accounts and even get a tax refund by filing your returns. 3. Keep your Social Security Number Safe
  11. 11. Follow These Tips To Keep Your SSN Secure: 1. Don’t carry your SSN card unless necessary. 2. Anything that lists your SSN should be kept in secure place. 3. Don’t share your SSN over phone or email to someone you don’t know. Even IRS never asks your SSN over the phone or email. 4. You should always use a secure electronic medium to prevent hacking the SSN details.
  12. 12. You should always file early because in case of duplicate filing done by a criminal with the same SSN will be rejected by IRS. So even if the second filing is legitimate, it has to go through a verification process from IRS. 4. File Early
  13. 13. Prevention is better than cure. You should have a clear communication policy and education program to ensure all your team members or employees to understand the importance of security and dangers of phishing and other threats. The policy should cover safe browsing, phone or laptop use, email usage and personal storage. 5. Educate Your Team Members
  14. 14. And this should not be limited to your employees. You should also educate your clients. CPAs should guide them about the threat of identity theft and other tax scams. This can be done by sharing latest news, security blogs, asking questions and showing them IRS security videos.
  15. 15. 1. Never respond to emails or phone calls claiming from IRS. IRS doesn’t communicate people via emails. 2. Never throw your tax papers and supporting document in the trash. Burn them or store them in a secure location. 3. Never use public networks or Wi-Fi to work on your files. 4. Never hand over your personal information to someone/tax preparer, you don’t properly know. Research thoroughly about them. 5. Never choose a tax preparer who doesn’t have their ‘Tax Preparer Identification Number’ given by IRS. 6. Never download or click any link in emails from any unverified sources that appear to be from IRS. Bonus Tips
  16. 16. If Your Information has been compromised… The good news is that you can report to IRS about the same. Report tax frauds to IRS email account: phishing@irs.gov. If you believe that someone has fraudulently submitted a tax return or used your SSN, call IRS at 800-908-4490.
  17. 17. Write Your ‘Happy’ Tax Story!! Using these tips during tax season (and throughout the year) will help you reduce your chances of becoming a target of scammers. And always remember, cyber criminals depend on users to commit a mistake. Even a small one. So pay attention and stay safe! Happy Tax Season 2018!
  18. 18. About Us Ace Cloud Hosting is an Intuit authorized Premier Reseller and commercial host for QuickBooks software and a leading tax software hosting provider to CPAs, bookkeepers, startups and SMBs. As winner of 2016 Accountex USA User Favorite Awards for hosting category, we provide secure cloud accounting solutions and hosting of software such as Lacerte, Drake, ProSystem fx Tax etc. that enable startups and SMBs to run their whole accounting better. Visit us at www.acecloudhosting.com or call us at +1-855-219-0431
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  20. 20. References Tips to Keep Your Tax Records Secure – IRS Tips for Protecting Your Identity This Tax Season – IRS How to avoid getting scammed come tax time – CNBC IRS Summarizes "Dirty Dozen" List of Tax Scams for 2017 – IRS How to Stay Safe When Filing Your Taxes Online – Mashable Tips for Keeping Online Tax Returns Safe From Thieves – US News Tax Season Alert: Watch Out for These 3 Common Scams – Ace Cloud Hosting Image Credit: Pixabay.com, Pexels.com, and Unsplash.com

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