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Park Ridge IL Medicaid and Estate Planning Legal Blog

Monday, October 16, 2017

Seeing a Tax Attorney Sooner May Help Mitigate Tax-Related Identity Theft

Q: Can the Equifax data breach threaten my income tax refund?

Individuals and businesses have always relied on skilled Illinois federal tax controversy attorneys to avoid or help them resolve federal tax disputes. 

But in light of the recent Equifax hack, more people may need help than ever before. Consulting a tax preparation attorney as soon as possible could help mitigate the risks of becoming a victim of tax-related identity theft. Don’t wait until it’s tax time to act.

If you haven't heard, in what's being called the largest data breach in history, hackers got into the credit bureau’s system and accessed the Social Security numbers of approximately 143 million people, putting them at risk of identity theft and the host of long-term problems that can come from it. It gets worse.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, “the hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.”

While fraud alerts and credit freezes and monitoring your credit accounts for any suspicious activity (like the creation of new bogus accounts opened by the identity thieves) are the first things many have done in the wake of the breach, the income tax season also offers a prime opportunity for the hackers to cash in on the stolen information. One concern is that the crooks will file fraudulent tax returns in an effort to abscond with the identity theft victim's tax refund. 

Experts suggest many of folks—especially those expecting a tax refund-- may benefit from preemptive action including seeing a tax preparation attorney earlier than usual and being prepared to file your tax return earlier this year as well in an effort to beat the crooks to the refund.

If you need help with tax return preparation or have a tax dispute including an IRS lien, levy or seizure or any other tax problem, The Law Office of Thomas J. Hansen can help. Contact us to request a consultation today. 

From our office in Park Ridge, we help clients throughout Illinois in all phases of tax preparation and dispute resolution.

Thomas J. Hansen, LTD. assists clients in Park Ridge, Cook County, IL as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont.

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