Be vigilant with personal information. While taxpayers are shopping for gifts, criminals are shopping for sensitive data including credit cards, financial accounts, and Social Security numbers.
Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening phone calls, and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as banks, credit card companies and even the IRS or a tax software firm. People should never click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious email addresses.
Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections.
Don’t routinely carry Social Security cards and make sure tax records are secure. Shop at reputable online retailers.
Also choose your tax preparer wisely.
All paid preparers must have what's called a prepared tax identification number, or PTIN. If a preparer does not have one, he or she is not legally qualified to do your taxes.
Taxpayers can check on IRS.gov for the status of enrolled agents.