Tax season is just around the corner. As we get our tax filings in order, it is important to keep in mind the dangers of tax refund fraud. This practice is on the rise in recent years. As noted in a piece in The Huffington Post, the reliance on digital technology likely plays a role in the increase in this form of fraud.

There are steps that can help to reduce the risk of becoming a victim. The main step: file early. The earlier you file your taxes, the less likely you are to become a victim. 

What is the correlation between filing date and becoming a victim of tax fraud? The most basic connection is time. The more time cybercriminals have to steal your identity, the more opportunities they have to take action.

How can criminals steal my tax refund? It is important to note that this crime can occur in a number of ways. Identity theft leading to a false filing is one example. Another common example includes changing the address so that the return is sent to the criminal instead of the true recipient.

Do I need a lawyer? This is just one example of a tax dispute that you may encounter. Whether you are dealing with a lost refund or disputing the amount you owe with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an attorney can provide assistance. This legal professional can advocate for your interests, helping to better ensure you are in tax compliance and that the IRS is not falsely accusing you of owing more than you do.