Tax Season…..It’s all about the Refund!
Everyone knows the beginning of the year is Tax Season. Tax season runs from January 20th, 2015-April 15th, 2015, but tax season bring more than just refunds. Identity theft remains the fastest-growing crime in America. Thieves’ steal social security numbers, identities and refunds. On average, an identity is stolen every three seconds, or 35,000 per day. To reduce the chance of becoming a victim of identity theft, do the following:
- Shred any documents containing your personal information
- Do not carry your Social Security card with you or share you number with anyone unless neccessary
- Check your credit report annually.
- Protect your personal computers by using firewalls, anti-spam/virus software
According to the Internal Revenue Service, violations of the Internal Revenue Code with the intent to evade income taxes may result in a civil penalty (i.e. money) or criminal prosecution (i.e. money and jail time). Civil fraud can include a penalty of up to 75% of the underpayment of tax attributable to fraud, in addition to the taxes owed. Criminal convictions of promoters and investors may result in fines up to $250,000 and up to five years in prison. Tax fraud is very difficult for the government to prove because they have the burden to show the court that the taxpayer has defrauded the government out of tax revenue. The most common examples of acts which could result in a charge of tax fraud are: not declaring all your income, overstating expenses or deductions, or failing to file tax returns when you have taxable income in an attempt to avoid fees. For more information on how to complete your taxes this year, please contact your nearest tax agency.