• LegalShield & IDShield posted an update 2 weeks, 4 days ago

    Filing taxes sooner helps prevent identity theft.
    It’s tax season. Always good information to brush up. From WXOW:
    LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Filing taxes earlier rather than later can help prevent identity theft, and there are local options for those who cannot afford a handler fee.
    Filing one’s tax returns with the IRS eliminates the option of someone else attempting to use that same number as a fraudulent social security number.
    “The earlier you file, nobody will have a chance to use your social security number,” H&R Block Master Tax Preparer Tammy Pedersen Marker said. “So if you get yours in early, then no one can do it, so you won’t probably have identity theft.”
    Procrastinating on filing tax returns could leave a window open for someone to steal your social security number.
    “If you’re electronically filing and somebody’s already used your social security number in the system, the IRS won’t accept your return,” Pedersen Marker said. “It can take anywhere from weeks to up to months. Eighteen months is the longest I’ve heard for someone who’s had to fix that with the IRS.”
    If the tax handler fee is preventing someone from filing, there are free options for the La Crosse Community.
    Senior citizens who have already compiled the necessary documents can file their tax returns at the La Crosse Public Library for free.
    “Most of these people get what’s called a homestead credit, so they don’t really owe taxes, but they get a credit to help pay their rent or property taxes for the next year,” AARP Foundation Tax Aid Local Coordinator Joan Wolf said.
    “We have no desire to take away from paid tax providers,” Wolf said. “We really respect their work and want to support them so if you are able to afford a paid tax preparer, that’s an option for you.”
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