Tips for Staying Safe During Tax Season

It’s tax season! Sometimes rushed and confusing, this time of the year is a key time to be aware of maintaining good online security hygiene. Tax processes include the exchange of Personal Identification Information (PII), a common target of scams. Here are simple steps to take and warning signs to be aware of to keep your information safe during tax season:

Stay Safe While Filing Your Taxes

If you are self-filing your tax return, start with these simple steps:

  • Secure Connection and Device: Make sure you use a trusted device on a trusted internet connection. Before you begin, check that your device is not waiting for any software updates. Running the latest updates ensures you do not have any security loopholes exposed.
  • Secure Password: Filing your taxes will most likely require creating a password. Instead of reusing a password for this sensitive information, create a strong and unique one. Need some guidance? Check out our advice for making a strong password here. Do you find creating or remembering unique passwords difficult? Consider installing a password manager.

Stay Safe After Filing Your Taxes

So you filed your 2023 taxes… The fun is not over! Scammers still play on worry around tax filing and returns in the period after. Watch out for these common scams:

  • Verification: This scam plays in the worry and sense of urgency around making an error. The scammers may ask for various forms of identification to “verify” your tax information after filing.
  • Refund Calculation: This scam plays on the excitement of receiving a tax refund to gain personal and financial details. The scammers may claim that a miscalculation occurred and, hurray!.. You are owed more money! To “make the deposit,” they request personal information.

In general, most communication from the IRS will come through the USPS. They do not ​​initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information, and will only request payments to be made to the U.S. Treasury. Some scams have also been committed by callers impersonating IRS agents. If you are unsure if the caller is legitimate, hang up, look up the direct number for the agency online, and call that source to verify.

Find a longer list of possible scams to watch for here:

Steps to Take:

Clients, reach out to our help desk if you’re unsure about a scam or think you may have clicked or opened an attachment on a phishing email.

Additionally, tax scam phishing emails can be reported to:

Share the information to keep everyone’s awareness up during this season. Have you seen or experienced one of these scams before? Tell us the warning signs in the conversation on our social media!