Watch out for tax scams!

Here’s how to protect your tax information from criminals targeting physicians.      

Doctors have always been a prime target for tax scammers due to their higher than average incomes. Here’s how to protect yourself this tax season.

File early

A common fraud in recent years has been for criminals to get hold of Social Security numbers (from a previous data breach) and electronically file tax returns with made-up incomes and withholding information before you can file.

This tax refund identity theft has bilked the government out of hundreds of millions of dollars. What’s even worse is you don’t know you are a victim until you try to file your taxes. Then the Internal Revenue Service notifies you that your Social Security number has already filed.

Consider a PIN

The IRS is opening its Identity Protection PIN program to all taxpayers this year. Verify your identity and you’ll be given a PIN to help prevent the misuse of your Social Security number on fraudulent tax returns. Find out more by searching “Identity Protection PIN” at irs.gov.

Choose MFA

All online tax providers have agreed to offer multi-factor authentication this year for an extra layer of protection. MFA is a process where you access an online account using two pieces of evidence: your login credentials and an additional identifying factor like a code (typically sent via email or text message).

Protect your W-2

The IRS’s Form W-2 is used to report wages paid and the taxes withheld. It’s also like a Holy Grail to criminals, as it contains all the personal information needed to steal your identity.

  • If you need to email a W-2, always encrypt it by typing {encrypt}, <encrypt>, or [encrypt] in the subject line if you are using your HCA Healthcare email.
  • If you print out your W-2, pick up the printout immediately from the printer. Keep the paper record in a secure location and use a shred bin when discarding the record.
  • If you download your W-2 onto your device, be sure no one else has access to the location. Consider password protecting the document to add an extra level of protection