Tax Identity Theft: How Filing Early Can Protect You

By Joseph A. Bellinghieri

Now that we are past the holiday season, if you are like many Americans it is time to start thinking about filing your Individual Income Tax returns.  This year the deadline is April 17, 2018, to file your 2017 taxes.  However, in the event you need additional time, you have the ability to file for an extension in which case your tax returns are not due until October 15, 2018.  Nonetheless, it may be beneficial to file as soon as possible in order to protect yourself from tax identity theft.

In an increasingly common scam, thieves file a fraudulent tax return electronically and claim refunds based on your personal information.  This is usually done very early in the tax filing season.  Therefore, when the legitimate taxpayers file their tax return they are notified by the Internal Revenue Service that they are attempting to file a duplicate return.  The duplicate tax return will be rejected by the IRS since it will contain the same Social Security Number for a return that has already been filed.  Tax identity theft can cause major complications and require significant time and effort to rectify and most importantly will cause significant delays in obtaining your refund.

There are also other reasons to file early, such as if you are receiving a refund, you will receive and enjoy your money sooner.  You will also face less competition for access to your tax professional earlier in the tax season.

To schedule a consultation, contact Joseph A. Bellinghieri at (610) 840-0239 or [email protected].


Tax Attorney Joseph A. BellinghieriJoseph A. Bellinghieri is an attorney with the Law Firm of MacElree Harvey, Ltd. in West Chester, PA. Joe is a seasoned attorney with over twenty years of experience representing individuals and businesses with a variety of estate, tax, real estate and business issues. Contact Joe at (610) 840-0239 or [email protected].