The arrival of tax season brings an increased threat of identity theft. Thieves file fake tax returns to collect the refunds of unsuspecting individuals. In most cases the victim does not find out about the identity theft until they go to file their own tax return.
Tax form 8821 is the best weapon for individuals looking to prevent identity theft during tax season. Tax form 8821 is also known as a tax authorization form. Tax form 8821 allows you to appoint someone to receive copies of all the correspondence between an individual taxpayer and the IRS. You can appoint yourself for this and then if someone tried to submit false information using your identity you would receive a copy of the interaction and be able to stop the identity theft.
Tax form 8821 is not a fool proof way to prevent identity theft however it is a very good defense. Here are some other ways to keep your tax return safe:
1. File Early – Most identity theft happens early in tax season before you've filled out your return.
2. Adjust your withholding – Check your withholding to make sure the government takes out the minimum in taxes during the year. This will lower your tax return and make you a less desirable candidate for identity theft during tax season.
3. Guard your social security number – Do not provide your social security number to anyone unless absolutely necessary. Social security numbers can be stolen from a doctor's office, school and online. Protect your social security number at all times.
Your tax return belongs to you and the process involved after being a victim of identity theft is not fun. Filling out tax form 8821 is a great defense against identity theft and may just save you or someone you love from a thief.
This information is an excerpt from our blog post: Tax Return Theft: How to Keep Your Personal Information Safe