Tax Identity Theft Week is an annual observance that begins on the last Monday of January and lasts for five days. This year, it takes place from January 30 to February 3. The significance of this week is to spread awareness that any type of theft can disrupt your finances, credit history, and reputation and take money and time to resolve. But do you know how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft? If not, join us and learn all the necessary actions to save yourself from tax theft.
History of Tax Identity Theft Week
Tax is an amount that a person owes to the government on any income made by an individual in exchange for security and the provision of necessities. Tax payment and collection have been major activities in most civilizations and kingdoms from ancient times. Taxes have always been important for the economy and the collector’s wealth, from paying daily taxes in gold or silver coins to today’s digitalized system of paying and collecting taxes.
As mentioned earlier, taxes are crucial to the economy and so is the taxpayer’s identity. Now, what is a tax identity? Tax identity is a unique set of certain parameters kept in place by federal and state agencies to keep track of the people living in the state or the country. In general, a nine-digit social security number (S.S.N.) or a separate and expressly issued tax identification number (T.I.N.) can be used to track an individual’s income and spending.
Another important function of the tax identity is to distinguish the legal residents from the illegal residents who come to the country through illegal migration and then use the identity of the local people to commit crimes and fraud. Your S.S.N. or T.I.N. is a unique number that is your key to getting jobs, tax return certificates, medical care when you are sick, and even allow you to open a bank account to receive your salaries.
In time, people learned to bypass certain security protocols by hacking into systems to access the information of a taxpayer and stealing their wealth or SSN for personal gains. The most prevalent motive for tax identity theft is to obtain a fake tax refund by filing a bogus tax return. Scams and scandals have caused hundreds of thousands of people to lose their money and access to government services as a result of this fraud.
To counter such activities, strict controls and mechanisms have been introduced and often awareness sessions are organized by government and private organizations to educate the people on the need to keep their tax identities secret so that they are not robbed. Tax Identity Theft Week is one such initiative to guide people on how to protect their identities and to report any person who is suspected of using a fake I.D. anywhere.
Tax Identity Theft Week timeline
The National Social Security Administration organizations form to issue S.S.Ns to all the residents of the U.S.
For the first time, the S.S.A.starts collecting taxes across the country.
A bill is brought to the House of Representatives with the title Stopping Tax Offenders and Prosecuting Identity Theft.
A total of 781 data breaches are reported leading to 169 million records being compromised.
Tax Identity Theft Week FAQs
Does the I.R.S. notify you of identity theft?
In many cases, the I.R.S. Taxpayer Protection Program will identify suspicious tax returns by your name and S.S.N. and send you a notice or letter. The T.P.P. proactively identifies and prevents the processing of tax returns for personal information theft and assists taxpayers in which personal information is used to file such tax returns.
How long does it take to get an I.R.S. refund after identity theft?
The I.R.S. will fix stolen I.D. refund scams, issue refunds (if you receive a refund), and protect your personal information from future theft. This process can take up to three months and up to one year, depending on the situation.
How do I stop tax identity theft?
Leave your Social Security card home and private. Never give your card or bank details to anyone. Make your passwords unique and work for you. Protect yourself against computer spam and viruses by installing antimalware software. Keep financial information private and do not disclose it.
How to Observe Tax Identity Theft Week
Attend awareness sessions
This week is celebrated to give awareness to people regarding tax identity theft. So, by attending different awareness sessions, people would get to know what this term means.
Learn how to protect yourself
During this week, different sessions on how to protect yourself from tax identity theft are organized by various national authorities and financial institutions. All you have to do is attend to them and follow the instructions which will help you and protect yourself.
Encourage others to attend and provide knowledge
We should encourage others also to attend the awareness sessions. A strong community-level awareness will help in putting a stop to such malpractices once and for all. Always remember, united we stand!
5 Facts About Tax Identity Theft Week Everyone Should Know
Awareness of Tax Identity Theft
This week, awareness is the major action taken for the safety of people.
Protection against Tax Identity Theft
Protection tips are also provided to people on how you can save your refund from getting stolen.
Role of Federal Trade Commission (F.T.C.)
Federal Trade Commission (F.T.C.) Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week webpage will provide webinars and other resources from F.T.C. and its partners throughout the week to help educate the public on how to protect against identity theft this tax season
Role of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (C.I.S.A.) encourages taxpayers, businesses, and tax professionals to review the F.T.C. announcement.
I.R.S. Taxpayer Guide
Internal Revenue Services provide the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.
Why Tax Identity Theft Week is Important
It raises awareness
Awareness is beneficial and always pays off in terms of gaining advantages for oneself. The more individuals learn that they are being plundered in various ways, the better prepared they will be and the more protection choices they will demand.
It provides tips to protect taxes
Tips regarding how to save yourself from theft are also communicated this week. Anyone concerned about the safety of their tax identity will be interested to attend such sessions
It is your money
The most important thing is to know that this money is yours. No one has a right to it unless with your consent. It is only fair to have every right to protect your money and tax identity and stand tall against these scammers.
Tax Identity Theft Week dates