IRS: Seven Steps for Making Identity Protection Part of Your Routine


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has partnered with the Illinois Department of Revenue and the tax industry to make sure that your understand the dangers to your personal and financial data.

The theft of your identity, especially personal information such as your Social Security number, address and date of birth can be traumatic and frustrating. In this online era, it is important to always be on guard. Listed below are seven stops you can make part of your routine to protect your tax and financial information:

(1)  Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often – watch for even the smallest charge that appears suspicious. Neither your credit card company or bank (or the IRS) will send you e-mails asking for sensitive personal or financial information.

(2)  Review and respond to all notices and correspondence from the IRS. Warning signs of tax-related identity theft can include IRS notices about tax returns you did not file, income you did not receive or employers you have never heard of and never worked for.

(3)  Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. Visit to get your free reports.

(4)  Review your annual Social Security income statement for excessive income reported. You can sign up for an electronic account at

(5)  Read your health insurance statements. Look for claims you never filed or treatment you never received.

(6)  Shred any documents with personal or financial information. Never toss documents with your personally identifiable information, especially your Social Security number, in the trash.

(7)  Use direct deposit for income tax refunds. If you receive any regular federal deposit such as a Social Security Administration or Department of Veterans Affairs benefit, you probably receive those deposits electronically. You can use the same direct deposit process for your federal and state tax refunds. IRS direct deposit is safe and secure and places your tax refund directly into the financial account of your choice.


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