Tips to keep your money safe this tax return season

ST. CLAIR, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- Have you filed your taxes? If not, maybe you should, but not for the reasons you'd normally think about.
   
Angela Nahodil is good for another year. She filed her taxes at the end of January. She did hers in about 20 minutes with Turbo Tax. Other people are turning to places like Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in St. Clair.

As people come in to file their tax returns, ome people are running into a problem -- it's already been filed by someone else.


"Itt does definitely seem to be an increasing problem, the irs is trying to combat that by giving people an IP pin which means their tax return will not be accepted unless it comes in with this special number that the irs gives them," said Patty Whipple, Jackson Hewitt area manager.

Experts have some tips to keep your tax information -- and ultimately your money -- safe.


"Shredding them. Don't throw them away in a trash can somewhere," said Whipple

All it takes is access to your legal name, date of birth and social security number to steal what you've earned.


"God forbid someone trying to claim my son, or using my social or my husband's social," said Nahodil.

To avoid tax fraud follow these six steps:

1. File as soon as possible
2. Clear your email and shred documents
3. The irs does not make phone calls, do not get fooled
4. Do not sign a blank return
5. Beware of tax popup shops
6. Enroll in all-year credit monitoring service


"Part of why the irs is delaying some people's refunds to the end of february. They want to make sure the right people are getting the right money," said Whipple.

If you end up a victim of tax return fraud -- be persistent. It may take up to six months to get that money back.     The IRS offers tips for choosing a legitamate tax return preparer online.
 

 


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