Tax Refund Identity Theft

Tax Refund

These days, filing tax refunds and tax returns via the Internet has become more common. Unfortunately, it has also given birth to a new breed of scam artists, too. Phishing scams and identity theft is more prevalent. Following are a few things to look out for if you receive an email from somebody purporting to be from your local tax authority.

What should I look out for?

These scammers will go to great lengths to ensure that the email correspondence they send to you looks genuine. They will even replicate tax authority logos and what looks like a link to the relevant website. They ask you to provide personal details such as name, date of birth, address, bank details – this gives them everything they need to be able to search for your tax refunds and bank account.

The links they provide you with may direct you to a website which looks exactly like the tax office site, look for anomalies, spelling errors and bogus emails, they can be easily spotted if you know what you are looking for. The bogus websites can also request personal information and your credit card detail information. If you do receive this type of email do not click on any links provided and do delete and block any future emails. However, make a note of the email address you received it from and report it as a potential scam. The authorities will then investigate and hopefully this will prevent others from being duped.checkout their latest updates at http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/20-years-prison-100m-tax-refund-fraud-leader-38231914

What if I have provided all of my details?

If you believe you may have submitted your details to a fake site, then contact your bank or financial institution without delay. Explain what you think has happened; they may send you new account details or just keep watch for any unusual activity on your account. Banks, financial institutions and tax authorities will never ask for verification online of your personal details.

How can I protect myself?

There are many ways to protect you from tax refund identity theft and online fraud.

• If you receive unsolicited emails claiming to be from the tax authorities or banks, take a note of the email address which sent it, the date and time, delete the document and report it.

• If you are unsure if the email sent to you is a legitimate request, contact the organization from their regulated website, not from the details given via the email or phone. Search the internet and find the details for the tax authority or bank yourself or use the contact details from any official letters or documentation you have from them.

• Don’t open any email attachments or open any links and definitely don’t reply to these emails. If you do, it may download a virus onto your computer.

Tax Refund

• Most importantly never send your financial details over the email or give them over the phone, keep your credit card and banking details safe – con artists can commit identity fraud and steal your tax refunds and your money if you allow them access to this information.

Be vigilant, if you are unsure that someone is asking you for information which they shouldn’t be, take the details and report it to your local authority, that way you will never fall prey to people trying to steal your hard earned cash.

How to Expedite a Tax Refund

Expedite a Tax Refund

Many of us overpay tax throughout the year. The good news is, if you complete your tax returns and lodge them on time, your local tax office will issue you with a notice of assessment. This will let you know if you are entitled to a refund for the year in question or if you have a debt of tax to pay.visit her latest post at http://www.allmomshops.com/bankruptcy-and-tax-refunds-5-things-to-know/

How long does it take?

If you filed your tax returns online your assessment notice will be sent to your inbox, you will receive an email or SMS to inform you that is has been sent so you don’t miss it. Realistically, most tax refunds are issued within 12-14 business days, if you lodged your return online. For paper tax returns your tax refunds can take up to 50 business days. Enclose your bank account details when you first file your tax return, this can speed up the process as any refunds will be paid directly into your bank account, there is no need to wait for a check and no delays while it clears in your bank.

What if it is delayed?

Occasionally delays do occur, this could be for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common being:

• You have previously lodged tax returns either on their own or for the current year.
In this case it will take the tax authorities longer to verify as they will have to check all of your returns to ensure they are correct.

• If you currently have an outstanding debt with the tax authorities, you may not receive your tax refund – it may be used to offset any outstanding debts.read more information straight from the source.

• You have a debt with another government agency for example child support – the tax authorities will check the information and if there is an outstanding debt, your tax refund could be used to settle this debt.

What if I made a mistake when I filled out my tax return?

The beauty of filing your tax returns online is that you have the option to log into your account and amend it by using your username and dedicated password. The speed of requesting your amendment online depends on how you originally lodged your return. If you lodged directly via the tax authority website, you can usually log in and correct any errors straight away. If you filed your tax returns via a tax agent such as Taxreturn247.com.au you still should be able to amend your forms online within a few days of lodging.

Expedite a Tax Refund

 

If you don’t have access to a computer or your tax returns were filed using the paper method, you can write to your tax authority and request an amendment of income tax return form. Once received, complete and fax or post to the relevant authority with any attachment requirements. You will need to explain clearly why the error was made on your original tax return and the reason you would like to amendment to take place. The authorities will assess your claim and hopefully your tax refund will be on the way to you shortly afterwards.