Keep Your Identity Safe and Protect Your Tax Refund

la-porte-chamberAre you excited to receive your tax refund this year? Unfortunately, identity theft criminals are also looking forward to stealing your refund.

The Indiana Department of Revenue wants to educate Hoosiers about protecting their identities during tax season. Because of increased security features, the department has been able to stop more than $1.2 million in attempted tax fraud within just the first month of the tax season.

Identity theft is such a big problem during tax season because it’s when people gather all of their sensitive information into one place, making it easiest for criminals to steal information and tax refunds.

Some ways identity theft criminals can find your personal information are:

  • From their friends or acquaintances
  • By posing through a phone call or an email as someone who needs your information
  • By looking through your trash for personal information
  • By accessing information you provide to an unsecured Internet site or via a public Wi-Fi service

To avoid giving your personal information to identity theft criminals, follow the Indiana Department of Revenue’s four identity protection tips: Don’t share your Social Security number (SSN) unless you have to. And never give it to a person when you did not make the initial contact. Don’t leave your W-2s lying around. This gives visitors going in and out of your home access to them. Instead, keep your tax documents in a safe, locked box. After you electronically file your tax return, save the file to a CD, USB drive, or external drive and then delete the return from your computer. Store the device in a safe, locked place. This ensures hackers can’t steal your information. File your taxes electronically. It is significantly more secure than paper filing. Individual taxpayers may qualify to file their taxes online for free at

Be sure to pass along these tips to your friends and family to help protect their identities as well. For more information about identity protection, visit the Indiana Department of Revenue’s Stop ID Theft website at

To learn more about the results of the department’s increased security features, visit