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April 15th is right around the corner. Also known as “Tax Day”, this is the last day you can file your tax return for the previous year. With the deadline looming, it can be easy to become lax in securing your information. Your information is valuable and there are criminals who are looking for it. Use these last minute tips to avoid tax identity theft.

File Your Tax Return ASAP

This tip may seem obvious, but get your tax return filed right away. You still want to make sure your taxes are done properly, so don’t rush. However, the longer you wait the more time someone has to file a fraudulent return under your identification. Criminals know that this is their last chance to obtain fraudulent tax returns until next year. They are making a push to obtain as much personal information as possible before the 15th. Go ahead and file your return so you can rest easy.

Shred Important Documents

One of the easiest ways for a criminal to obtain your information is by finding it on a piece of paper. Tax documents, bank statements, receipts can all be used to locate even more personal information. Shred any and all documents with valuable information to avoid it falling into the wrong hands. Another option is to keep sensitive documents under lock and key. Whichever option you choose, be diligent in protecting your information.

Get A Locking Mailbox

The last tip goes hand-in-hand with the first two tips. Criminals are on the prowl for information and you need to protect it. What do you do to prevent your important documents from being stolen before you ever see them? Outfit your home with a locking mailbox. A mailbox that can have mail inserted, but not retrieved without a key will keep prying eyes off of your personal information.

Tax time is stressful. Try using these last minute tips to avoid tax identity theft and reduce some of that stress. Once your return is filed, you’ll have an entire year until you have to do it again. Well, not an entire year. Hopefully, next year you will file as early as possible!

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