• BBB Tuesday Business Tip: Keep Your Tax Information Secure

    • Share:
    December 07, 2021
    BBB® Tuesday Tips
    Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
    Your Better Business Bureau has some suggestions for consumers and business owners for keeping tax information secure and avoiding tax-related scams.So far in 2021, BBB has processed approximately 1,700 complaints against tax return preparation services and related businesses (including accountants preparing tax returns). For those complaints, the median disputed amount for which consumers sought BBB’s help was $378.
    BBB receives hundreds of reports to BBB Scam Tracker each year from consumers regarding con artists claiming to be with the IRS. These scams tend to rely on tactics such as intimidation (such as threats of arrest), isolation (to keep victims from talking to their family members about the supposed tax issue), and/or pressure to act quickly. Tax collection scams often employ all three to bully their targets into compliance.
    BBB has been cooperating with the IRS by providing the agency with phone numbers reported from consumers to BBB Scam Tracker. Any law enforcement agency can request additional information from Scam Tracker and we are always willing to work with them to help stop this fraud.

    Ways Consumers and Business Owners Can Combat Tax Fraud: 

    • Only deal with trustworthy tax preparation services. Check BBB.org for the latest Business Profile before you engage a company for the first time. Use BBB's Tax Tips to help guide you.
    • Protect personally identifiable information (PII) such as birth date, Social Security numbers, bank accounts, etc.
    • Check out websites carefully and make sure you are accessing the real IRS website (irs.gov) when filing your taxes electronically or inquiring for additional information.
    • If you get tax information delivered electronically from your employer or other entity, treat that information carefully. Download it onto a password-protected computer. Understand how tax scams work and be on guard for “red flags” such as calls before you’ve received any kind of letter from the Internal Revenue Service or other tax authority, demands for immediate payment, threats or intimidation, or payment requests via wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or gift card

    Additional Resources

    BBB's Tax Tips & Resources Page
    BBB of Northwest Florida
    912 E. Gadsden Street
    Pensacola, FL 32501
    Tammy Ward, Communications Director
    tammy@nwfl.bbb.org, (850) 429-0002