Are You Ready For A Disaster? Plan Ahead!
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes. Plan how you will contact one another. Plan where everyone will go in case of an emergency with several location options.
Have your financial documents ready for a disaster. Have originals in a safe deposit box. Have copies saved on your computer and backed up to the cloud with a reputable online company. Documents that are not in a safe deposit box should be in a fireproof and/or waterproof container. Keep near an exit and it should be easily transported. Other items for your disaster kit could be:
Cash for a few days
Credit card with a zero balance
Key to your safe deposit box
Legal documents, ie: wills, trusts, powers of attorney, passports, social security cards
Financial accounts, ie: bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, with numbers and passwords
Household Inventory- listing all household items. Having photographs is also recommended
Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft
We know identity theft is a frustrating process for victims ,we take this issue very seriously and continue to expandon our robust screening process in order to stop fraudulent returns.
What is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number(SSN) or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
How do you know if your tax records havebeen affected?
Usually, an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer's identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.Generally, the identity thief will use a stolen SSN to file a forged tax return and attempt to get a fraudulent refund early in the filing season.
You may be unaware that this has happened until you file your return later in the filing season and discover that two returns have been filed using the same SSN.
Be alert to possible identity theft if you receive an IRS notice or letter that states that:
• More than one tax return for you was filed,
• You have a balance due, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return, or
• IRS records indicate you received wages from an employer unknown to you.
What to do if your tax records were affected by identity theft?
If you receive a notice from IRS, respond immediately. If you believe someone may have used your SSN fraudulently, please notify IRS immediately by responding to the name and number printed on the notice or letter. You will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, form 14039.
For victims of identity theft who have previously been in contact with the IRS and have not achieved a resolution, please contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free, at 1-800-908-4490
How can you protect your tax records?
If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost/stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, etc., contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
How can you minimize the chance of becoming a victim?
• Don't carry your Social Security card or any document(s) with your SSN on it.
• Don't give a business your SSN just because they ask.
• Give it only when required.
• Protect your financial information.
• Check your credit report every 12 months.
• Secure personal information in your home.
• Protect your personal computers by using firewalls, anti-spam/virus software, update security patches, and change passwords for Internet accounts.
• Don't give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.
The IRS does not inititate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.