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Be wary of claims concerning identity theft

Sometimes, identity theft is unavoidable. While it is good to be cautious, not every piece of advice advertisers provide is going to prevent identify theft from occurring.

The IRS provides a number of updates and announcements regarding the topic of identity theft. It is in their best interests to prevent identity theft from occurring as well because they do not wish to be in the middle of any controversy.

Some items to remember when it comes to identity theft include:

  • A hack or a computer breach may not result in identity theft. Though there may be a compromise of certain personal information, those stealing the information may not be able to use it for identity theft purposes. Plus, the company or companies responsible for your stolen information may offer credit monitoring and other assistance for you.
  • Claims that early filing will prevent identity theft are overblown. The cause of identity theft most likely involves access to your personal information. Perpetrators cannot file returns either early or late without having that information available to begin with.
  • It is a mistake to submit tax forms not fully prepared in order to avoid identity theft. As a rule of thumb, do not file incomplete or inaccurate information to the IRS. This could lead to fines and penalties. Even under the best circumstances, you will bring unwanted attention upon yourself with the IRS and other federal authorities.
  • You may not be eligible for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN). To receive eligibility to receive an IP PIN, you either need to receive a letter of invitation from the IRS, or you must reside in one of three eastern states (none of which includes Michigan). Also, in the event you do receive an IP PIN, you need to use it on your tax forms or face rejection of your return.

Do not rely upon late night advertisers who promise a quick fix to any identity theft returns. It is best to have the experienced tax advice of an attorney who understands your legal options.

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