This article was written by my colleague NRTC Managed Services Admin
Procrastinators rejoice! The IRS has extended the filing date for many of us. Be sure to double check with your state tax agencies here for specific dates as not all states are handling the same: https://www.taxadmin.org/state-tax-agencies. Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t miss a beat (or get scammed) when you pay your taxes—or get your refund!
- Don’t procrastinate. Especially if your taxes are very complicated, or you are using an accountant or service to complete your taxes, try to gather your paperwork as soon as possible to avoid any traffic jams caused by other procrastinators!
- Don’t fall for phishing schemes. The IRS will never request personal data like Social Security Numbers or bank account details via email or phone. Be wary of emails with subjects like “IRS Refund!” Doublecheck any links before clicking; instead check your bank account regularly for deposits.
- Do use direct deposit. Old school thieves still steal checks out of mailboxes, so when possible, opt for direct deposit of your refund check. This method is more secure and easier to manage if a fraudulent deposit is made into your account.
- Don’t send personal information via email. If you are relying on a professional to prepare your taxes, try to use a secure portal (a branded website whose address starts with “https”) rather than just emailing attachments. Any document that includes SSN, date of birth, or bank details should be sent encrypted or delivered by hand to your preparer.
- Do visit the IRS website for updates on new scams. Sadly, new scams including mail, phone, and email pop up all too regularly. Check the IRS website here for scams to watch out for: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/scam-alert-irs-urges-taxpayers-to-watch-out-for-erroneous-refunds-beware-of-fake-calls-to-return-money-to-a-collection-agency
And a final very important note: If you are a sole proprietor, a partner in an S-corporation, or anyone who makes income without having an employer withhold taxes (essentially anyone who pays quarterly taxes), you must still pay your estimated tax by April 15th.
Enjoy having some extra time to file your taxes if you qualify, but take the same precautions you always do to make sure your taxes are paid on time and your personal data is protected!