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Ways To Protect Yourself When Filing Taxes

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- This week Turbo Tax stopped accepting state filed returns after an uptick in suspicious filings.

The company says it is back to processing state refunds after a full investigation was completed Friday.

Even though it is back up and running, identity theft associated with tax filings is still on the rise.

“Especially with these online services in which you are literally taking your name, your address, your social security number and date of birth and storing that on someone else`s server with the expectation that it`s safe, let`s hope that it is. If it`s not it`s a real problem trying to restore your identity, it takes years,” says Certified Financial Planner Mike Hammen with Advantage Financial & Tax Services.

Hammen says if someone has your birth date and social security number they can easily steal your identity.

The Iowa Department of Revenue says it is closely monitoring returns coming in and in a statement said, “Iowa`s tax administration system has a fraud model that has been developed over many years and is updated daily as new information becomes available during the tax season. The department has been in contact with the states who have reported increased fraud activity and we are analyzing our returns based upon criteria those states have provided. Any refund request that fits our fraud criteria will be canceled until the validity of the return can be verified.”

Regardless if you file online or with a tax professional Hammen says you need to be smart and do your research.

Don't ever use e-mail to send tax documents, or save them to an internet server like the cloud.

“We've got to be very, very cautious about the information that`s in a tax return, it`s just critical,” says Hammen.

There has also been an increase in emails being sent out claiming to be from the IRS.

Officials say the IRS will never send you an email, so don't open it or click any link that's included.

1 Comment

  • John B

    I don’t understand why people who want to file electronically are required to use a private third party business in order to do so. Why not just allow people to file directly with the IRS and their state? Years ago, the state of Iowa used to allow you to file directly with them but they have since banned that option.

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