Remain alert for identity theft attempts at tax time. Be especially wary of unsolicited phone calls from scammers claiming to be with the IRS. Remember: The IRS will always send correspondence first; it will not initiate contact with you via a phone call.
Ways to Protect Against Tax-Related Identity Theft
One way to protect from tax-related identity theft is to file your tax returns early. Thieves using stolen identities to seek refunds usually file early in the season so that the IRS receives the phony forms before the real taxpayers file their returns. By filing as early as possible, you might beat a thief to the punch.
Also, the IRS recently warned tax preparation professionals that scammers are sending fraudulent phishing emails asking them to update their IRS e-services information. The email has an IRS logo and e-services logo; it attempts to steal passwords and other personal data. The IRS has advised tax professionals to use effective security software, encrypt taxpayer data, use strong passwords and change them often, and be wary of unusual communications purporting to be from the IRS.