Your Tax Return May Be Delayed Thanks to Identity Thieves

Preventing fraud is a big deal this year. It means your tax return could be delayed significantly.

If you wind up waiting to get your tax refund this year the Internal Revenue Service says blame identity thieves.

A new law forces the IRS to hold your refund while they check to make sure you are who you say you are. This year the IRS is delaying refunds for people with child tax credits and the earned income tax credits.

This impacts some 40 million working families who will have to wait longer to get a refund. Many North Texans filed their taxes last year only to find out someone else had already stolen their information and beat them to it.

Just Friday, scammers convinced a worker at the Argyle Independent School District to fork over personal information for all their employees, possibly to file fake tax returns.

It's easy to be fooled. Here's what you need to know so you're not the next one:

  • If you get a call or e-mail asking for financial info, think twice. It doesn't matter if the company's logo is at the top.
  • Don't update your information to someone who contacts you.
  • Never send a wire transfer for payment on an account.
  • Ask yourself if you're feeling pressured. Scammers will try to scare you by saying they'll disable your account, or even have you fined or arrested. It's just not true – no government agency does that. Always ask if you can call them back.
  • Never give personal information to someone who calls or e-mails you first. Don't call back numbers they give you. Instead, look it up yourself or find it on your bill, so you know you're really getting the right place.
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