Tax season is a prime time for criminals. Criminals can file fraudulent tax returns in your name—and steal your tax refund. They may attempt identity theft through emails claiming false problems with your return or tax documents. Follow these tips to protect yourself.
Practice safe computing
Protect your personal devices and data and always be sure to use a secure Internet connection.
- File your taxes as soon as possible
This prevents criminals from filing under your name, and will get you your tax refund (if you are eligible for one) faster.
- Know your tax filing merchants
Use only Authorized IRS e-file Providers to file your taxes. If you’re filing on the web, make sure that the website URL starts with https to indicate a secure connection.
- Be suspicious of ads for tax filing services that promise you large or expedited tax refunds
These ads are often scams to steal your personal information.
- Beware of common identity theft and tax scams.
Information about many current tax scams can be found at the IRS web page Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. See Phishing and Suspicious Email to learn how to protect yourself from phishing attacks.
If You Get Caught by a Tax Scam
- Complete and submit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039 (PDF)
For additional information, see Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance.
- Alert the appropriate state tax organization.
In Michigan, contact the Michigan Department of Treasury.
- Call (517) 636-4486
- Email Treasury-ReportIDTheft@michigan.gov
- Send mail to:
Identify Theft Unit
Income Tax Division
P.O. Box 30477
Lansing, MI 48909
See Identity Theft for what to do if your identity is stolen.
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection, and Victim Assistance (IRS)
- Report Phishing and Online Scams (IRS)
- Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts (IRS)
- Phishing & Suspicious Email (Safe Computing)