Identity theft is a challenge we all face — as individuals, businesses, organizations and government agencies. The IRS says it's making progress against tax-related identity theft using an aggressive strategy of prevention, detection and victim assistance. In fact, the agency notes that this is one of its highest priorities.
Tax-related identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to file a tax return and then claims a fraudulent refund. If you become a victim, the IRS says it's committed to helping you resolve your case as quickly as possible.
What are the ways that the federal government, the states and private industry are working to identify and apply safeguards to better protect taxpayers and fight identity theft? IRS, representatives of the software industry, tax preparation firms, payroll and tax financial product processors, as well as state tax administrators are joining together to combat identity theft. They're looking into enhanced authentication procedures, improved information sharing, heightened cybersecurity and greater education and outreach to the public.
What can you do to make your personal, financial and tax data safer?
Advice for businesses
Companies also have to be careful with identity protection:
Such steps have helped the decline of identity theft indicators, says the IRS, which announced that key indicators of identity theft dropped for the second year in a row. In fact, since 2015, the number of tax-related identity theft victims has fallen by almost two-thirds, and billions of dollars of taxpayer refunds have been protected. But you still have to be careful!
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