IRS YouTube Videos:

  • Security Summit: Check your Credit Report AnnuallyEnglish
  • Security Summit: Secure Your Tax ReturnEnglish
  • Security Summit: Be Careful When Using Wi-FiEnglish
  • Security Summit: Update Your Password RegularlyEnglish
  • Taxes.Security.Together.English
  • Protect Your Clients; Protect YourselfEnglish
  • Dirty DozenEnglish | Spanish | ASL

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a filing season alert, warning taxpayers and tax professionals to watch out for identity theft at tax time, and highlighted the crime as a recurring scam in the agency's "Dirty Dozen" series.

The Dirty Dozen is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire tax professionals.

Tax-related Identity theft — with its related scams to steal personal and financial data from taxpayers or data held by tax professionals — remains a top item on the Dirty Dozen list. It remains an ongoing concern even though progress is being made.

The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry have joined as the Security Summit and enacted a series of safeguards that are showing results. In 2016, the number of taxpayers reporting stolen identities on federal tax returns fell by more than 50 percent, with nearly 275,000 fewer victims compared to a year ago.

To further these efforts, the Security Summit partners applied more safeguards in 2017 and continue to seek new and expanded ways to reduce identity theft. Because of these successes, criminals are devising more creative ways to steal personal information and impersonate taxpayers.

"The Security Summit partnership continues to develop and strengthen tools to stop fraudulent returns from getting into the tax system," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "We're calling on taxpayers to do everything they can to protect their private information because criminals continue looking for new and more sophisticated ways of beating the system. We also encourage tax professionals and others in the private and non-profit sectors with access to large amounts of sensitive information to watch out for identity theft schemes."

Security Reminders for Taxpayers

The IRS and its partners remind taxpayers they can do their part to help in this effort. Taxpayers and tax professionals should:

  • Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Make sure the security software is always turned on and can automatically update. Encrypt sensitive files such as tax records stored on the computer. Use strong passwords.
  • Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening phone calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as banks, credit card companies and government organizations, including the IRS. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
  • Protect personal data. Don't routinely carry a Social Security card, and make sure tax records are secure. Treat personal information like cash; don't leave it lying around.

"Everyone should guard their personal information by protecting their computers and using extreme caution when viewing emails or getting surprise phone calls," Koskinen said. "We also encourage people to share this information with their friends and family. We all know someone who is challenged by technology, and some easy, common-sense steps could help protect these people from identity theft."

The Security Summit launched a "Taxes. Security. Together." public awareness campaign aimed at taxpayers. This campaign provided easy tips to taxpayers to protect themselves, including video, tax tips and fact sheets to stay safe online. The Summit also initiated a "Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself" campaign aimed at tax professionals who are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals.

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a stolen Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.

The IRS understands that undoing the damage caused by identity theft is a frustrating and complex process for victims. While identity thieves steal information from sources outside the tax system, the IRS is often the first to inform a victim that identity theft has occurred. The IRS is working hard to resolve identity theft cases as quickly as possible. For more information, see the special identity theft section on IRS.gov.

Related Items:

  • IR-2016-144, IRS, Security Summit Partners Expand Identity Theft Safeguards for 2017 Filing Season, Build on 2016 Successes
  • FS-2015-23, IRS, States and Industry Partners Provide Update on Collaborative Fight Against Tax-Related Identity Theft
  • IRS Tax Tip: IRS, Partners Add New Safeguard for 2017; Ask for Your Help to Combat Identity Theft
February 2018
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28

Upcoming Tax Dates

February 10 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the fourth quarter of 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Certain small employers
File Form 944 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Farm employers
File Form 943 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Federal unemployment tax
File Form 940 for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during January, report them to your employer Details

February 15 — All businesses
Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments you made during 2017 Details

February 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in January.

February 15 — All employers
Begin withholding income tax from the pay of any employee who claimed exemption from withholding in 2017, but did not give you Form W4 to continue the exemption this year.

February 15 — Individuals
If you claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year on the Form W-4, you must file a new Form W-04 by this date to continue your exemption for another year Details

February 19 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (Washington's Birthday) Details

February 28 — All businesses
File information returns (for example, Forms 1099) for certain payments you made during 2017.

February 28 — Payers of gambling winnings.
File Form 1096 along with Copy A of all the Forms W2G you issued for 2017. If you file Forms W2G electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to 03-31. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains 01-31.

February 28 — All employers
File Form W3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, along with Copy A of all the Forms W2 you issued for 2017. If you file Forms W2 electronically, your due date for filing them with the SSA will be extended to 03-31. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains 01-31.

February 28 — Large food and beverage establishment employers
File Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips. Use Form 8027T, Transmittal of Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, to summarize and transmit Forms 8027 if you have more than one establishment. If you file Forms 8027 electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to 03-31.

View More Tax Dates