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Tax Time Tips: Avoid ID theft and scams - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Tax Time Tips: Avoid ID theft and scams

Photo Source: AP Photo Source: AP
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

It’s tax time again!

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs is urging state residents to file tax returns early.

The IRS requires employers to provide W-2 forms to employees by Jan. 31.

This deadline is an effort to “make it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud,” according to IRS.gov.

The change from a February and March deadline was enacted a couple of years ago. 

SCDCA suggests filing as soon as possible.

“Scammers use consumer information to file tax returns and steal refunds before the individual files,” said Juliana Harris, SCDCA Communications Director, in a press release.

Putting taxes off for too long opens the door for scammers to beat you to the punch.

SCDCA Tax Time Tips:

  • Be aware scammers may try to get your personal information through emails, texts, and phone calls, pretending to be the IRS or a legitimate tax company. Don’t give them your social security number or income details.
  • If you file online, only sign into a secure internet connection - not public internet.
  • Use reputable tax software. Free is not always best.
  • If you file by paper, mail your tax returns straight from the post office instead of putting them in your mailbox.
  • Research a tax preparer thoroughly before handing over personal information.
  • Make sure to shred any copies, drafts or notes you take while filing the return.
  • If a tax return has already been falsely filed in your name, the IRS may send you a letter to notify you. Respond as soon as possible.

If you are concerned your info was breached, call 844-TELL DCA (835-5322) or visit www.consumer.sc.gov  to report it.

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