Avoiding tax refund fraud: 3 things to know

Tax-refund fraud remains a huge problem. Scammers have gotten away with billions of dollars in recent years and stolen the identities of a bewildering number of people.

Will the 2017 filing season be any better?

Here are three things to know to help minimize the risk that you your refund or your identity will be stolen.

Filing early can help prevent refund fraud.

This year, tax filing season opens on January 23. But employers are not required to provide W-2 and certain 1099-MISC information to the IRS until January 31.

The January 31 date is earlier than in the past, when employers had until the end of February. Congress moved it up this year to help prevent tax-refund fraud. Without the W-2 and 1099 information, cross-checks by IRS computers are unable to assess whether income claimed on a return is accurate – and raise red flags if it’s not.

It can therefore help to file your taxes right away, so that the IRS can get your information checked as soon as possible and possibly prevent someone from filing in your name.

Protecting your personal information really is important.

Be very careful with your Social Security number and other personal information. Don’t carry a paper copy of your Social Security card in your billfold or purse. And develop good computer security habits, such as creating strong passwords and being wary of insecure networks.

You should also be on guard against fraudsters who pose as IRS agents, either by phone or online.

And if you use a tax preparer, make sure it’s someone you trust.

Taking these steps can help keep your information away form fraudsters who could file a return in your name. 

The IRS is holding certain refunds this year until February 15.

The IRS announced last week that it will not issue certain tax refunds until February 15. This applies to returns that claimed the earned income tax credit (EETC) or the additional child tax credit (AATC).

The purpose of the hold is to give the IRS more time to uncover possible tax refund fraud.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Our Team

Contact Us to Get Started Today

Located in the Washington, D.C area, we serve clients in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia, as well as across the country and overseas. For a free initial consultation, call 202-381-1261 or complete our brief online form.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Six Convenient Office Locations in and around the DC Metropolitan Area

Washington, D.C.
1050 Connecticut Ave NW #500
Washington, D.C. 20036

Phone: 202-618-1873
Fax: 888-235-8405
Washington Law Office Map

Columbia Office
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 300
Columbia, MD 21044

Phone: 202-618-1873
Phone: 410-497-5947
Fax: 888-235-8405
Columbia Law Office Map

Annapolis Office
839 Bestgate Road
Suite 400
Annapolis, MD 21401

Phone: 202-618-1873
Phone: 410-497-5947
Fax: 888-235-8405
Annapolis Law Office Map

Fairfax Office
8280 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
Suite 600
Fairfax, VA 22031

Phone: 202-618-1873
Phone: 703-988-4817
Fax: 888-235-8405
Fairfax Law Office Map

Rockville Office
199 E. Montgomery Avenue
Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850

Phone: 202-618-1873
Phone: 240-599-5009
Fax: 888-235-8405
Rockville Law Office Map

Baltimore Office
400 East Pratt Street
8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone: 202-618-1873
Phone: 443-743-3381
Fax: 888-235-8405
Baltimore Law Office Map