Identity theft is a growing concern, impacting 14.4 million U.S. Consumers in 2019. Armed with your Social Security number, a criminal can use that information to commit tax- and other financial-related crimes in your name.
Tax-related identity theft is when a criminal uses your Social Security to file a fraudulent tax return in your name, claiming a tax refund. The IRS has become vigilant in guarding against this practice; while there were 597,000 confirmed identity theft-related tax returns in 2017, this was down sharply from 883,000 in the prior year. The drop can be attributed to an aggressive education program, whereby the IRS is educating the public about the need to protect personal data. Their efforts involve emphasizing a number of important steps people can take to safeguard their information.
If the IRS confirms that you have been victim to a tax-related identity theft, it may issue you a unique PIN each year for you to use when filing your taxes electronically.
For more information on tax-related identity theft, visit the IRS website.
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This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. This material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.
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