TAS Tax Tip: Keep safe on social media at tax time

March 3, 2020

Waiting on your tax refund can be difficult. It can be even more so when you are unsure about the status or why there might be a delay beyond the timeframe you expected your refund. While you are checking the status of your refund or responding to any IRS requests for additional information, the Taxpayer Advocate Service urges you to protect your personal and tax account information.

Social media timelines, forums and community groups may be a great way to connect with others, but it’s not a great place to share your personal tax information.

Turning to social media and posting personal financial information such as tax transcripts or refund details are just examples of what you should not be doing. Also, asking personal tax details of others, puts you and them at risk for identity theft.

Always be careful of posting your:

  • IRS account transcripts,
  • IRS Where’s My Refund status images,
  • Refund amounts,
  • Bank account or routing numbers,
  • Pictures of tax returns and other tax documents.

Even if you share personal information that is partially hidden, income, refund and other amounts can be connected with your social media profiles. Tax scammers and thieves are savvy and can steal your information from just a few details. Don’t become a victim of identity theft.

You may even think you are safe if you do not have your name shown in the user account fields. But don’t be fooled, clever thieves can and will attempt to search all available information on the internet for whatever they can use.

Please, be safe and think twice before you post that image or personal account information online anywhere!

Official Information Sources

Both the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) and the Internal Revenue Service continuously strive to provide information to help you get your refund timely, to resolve return or account issues, and to help you protect yourself from fraud and ID theft.

Even some of the IRS tax return processing programming that is in place now is there to help prevent and identify possible ID Theft scenarios in relation to your account. Unfortunately, this programming protection can also delay a legitimate refund while information cross-checking is in process. And it can delay it past normal refund release timeframes in many cases.

Watch for official IRS notices and letters mailed to you that contain tax return and account updates. The correspondence may request you to take certain steps or actions to resolve any discrepancies identified. If identity theft is suspected, you may receive an official IRS letter 5071c requesting you to contact the IRS Identity Verification telephone number provided in the letter.

Below are just a few of the official resources available to help you stay updated. Please also continue to watch for future communications and information available on our website, IRS.gov, in the IRS Where’s My Refund application tool, and through official TAS or IRS social media channels. As filing season progresses, alerts and updates will be issued whenever possible to keep everyone informed.

Internal Revenue Service Resources

Information safety

Refund status tools and information

Taxpayer Advocate Service Resources

You can also find the Taxpayer Advocate Service across social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.