Identity theft concerns grow as tax season ends - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Identity theft concerns grow as tax season ends

Ronald Childress of Childress Accounting (Source: WAFF) Ronald Childress of Childress Accounting (Source: WAFF)
(WAFF) -

The clock is ticking to file your tax return. And this year, the IRS is reporting an uptick in identity theft for people filing their taxes.

Ronald Childress, owner of Childress Accounting in north Huntsville, knows taxes and procrastinators.

"Once they found out that the date was extended to the 18th, then they extended their time to file until the 18th,” said Childress.

If you're one of those last-minute filers, there's something you should be aware of.

"Identity theft, that's the real focus right now. It's so much of it going on," Childress said.

It's also alarming to the IRS. The agency dedicated an entire page with information on how to avoid becoming a victim.

"They're doing more verifications,” said Childress. “Matter of fact, that's why they held up some of the refund checks."

Childress is talking about a law passed by Congress that held up refunds for Child Tax Credits until Feb. 15 this year. It gave the IRS more time to verify the accuracy of those returns.

What’s also different this year is the agency now requires an additional verification code found on your W-2 form.

"If the IRS gave you a PIN number, you must use that PIN number to file your taxes. Otherwise, it will be rejected." said Childress.

Childress said if you think you could become an identity theft victim, hire a professional to help.

"Many people who come to us because they want to be assured they're doing things right," he said.

The tax deadline is April 18.

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