e-filing, tax tips — April 13, 2017

E-file Safety and Security: The IRS, 1040.com and You

by Susannah McQuitty

A woman walking next to an orange wall, protected from identity theft and tax fraud by e-filing her taxes

It takes two to tango, and it takes three to e-file your taxes. No, we’re not going to make you dance, but keeping your information as safe as possible is going to take effort from the IRS, your e-filing company of choice (1040.com, duh) and you. E-filing is actually the safest way to handle your taxes, and here’s how we’re going to make it even safer.

The IRS: Requiring prior-year AGI (Adjusted Gross Income)

The first in the e-filing security ring is the IRS and the new prior-year AGI rule. It’s much harder for tax fraudsters to get their hands on your exact adjusted gross income from the last filing year, and it’s fairly easy to access for taxpayers themselves. We call that a win.

When you file with 1040.com (your favorite, remember?), we keep your tax returns on our secure server, free of charge, so you always have access to your prior-year information. When it’s time for you to file this year, we’ll automatically pull your prior year AGI so you don’t have to dig through old tax records.

If you didn’t file with 1040.com last year, check out our blog post on how to find your prior-year AGI and we’ll get you on the right track.

A woman e-filing her taxes on her laptop

1040.com: Two-step verification, encryption, and privacy certification

Two-step verification may be a bit of a pain, but it’s safe to say we’re all willing to take that extra step in the name of e-filing security. That’s what you can count on every time you have to verify your identity when you log in.

Once you’re logged in, every piece of information you transmit from your phone or computer is protected with industry-standard SSL encryption – ensuring a safe filing process. On top of our encryption, our enterprise privacy certification verifies that we meet high privacy and security standards set by a third party. We want you to know that we only use your personal information for the explicit purpose for which it was provided. Period.

A laptop ready for filing your taxes with 1040.com

You: Beware of information requests and be ready to report

The IRS never asks you to send or verify personal information through emails, phone calls or texts. If they want to know something, they’ll send you a personal information request through the mail. Any electronic request for your info is automatically a no-go.

Now, if you do get a letter that looks like it’s from the IRS, that doesn’t mean it’s legit either. Aggressive, threatening letters sent by scammers with official letterhead are meant to force your hand before you have time to think. If you get a letter claiming to be from the IRS, contact your local IRS office and ask them to help validate the request. For more info, check out this IRS.gov article on tax scammers.

If you think your Social Security Number might be compromised, call the identity theft hotline immediately at (800) 908-4490 to secure your tax information and put the IRS on alert. You’ll catch any potential fraud early, minimizing damage that could affect you for months. E-filing is the safest way to file your taxes, and with a team of three and these tips under your belt, you can make that filing process even safer when you file your taxes with 1040.com.

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