Office for the Aging

 

Five Ways to Guard Against Identity Theft this Tax Season

Tips from the Tax Department to protect your refund and prevent ID theft

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today shared important tips to help New York taxpayers guard against identity theft and prevent related tax fraud.

Scam artists are continually altering their tactics to steal sensitive information used in their fraud schemes.
"While the Tax Department constantly adjusts its analytics-driven processing systems to stop schemes as they emerge, it's vital that taxpayers take precautions to protect the personal information these criminals rely on," said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. "These tips can help you avoid being victimized by identity thieves."

Tips to prevent identity theft and fraud

1. File promptly. Filing your tax return as soon as possible can reduce the likelihood that an identity thief will be able to claim a fraudulent tax refund using your stolen information.
2. Protect data and documents used to prepare your return. Keep sensitive personal information and documents safe during and after the filing process, and delete or shred once no longer needed.
3. If you hire a tax preparer, do your research to ensure they're competent and ethical. Avoid preparers who boast that they can obtain refunds larger than their competitors can, who don't provide you with their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), or who base their fee on a percentage of your refund.
4. Make sure your tax preparer is willing to sign your return. The preparer must also provide you with a copy of your return.
5. Carefully review your return. You're responsible for the return's accuracy. If you hire a paid preparer, never sign a blank return.

Report it

If you are a victim, or believe you may be a potential victim of tax-related identity theft, alert us immediately. We will track your information to help keep it private and protected. Visit the Tax Department's Report fraud, scams, and identity theft webpage.