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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection The Resource Center | article

Tax Race Tip #1: Be Prepared

First part of beating a thief to your tax return is being prepared and gathering all of the necessary documents. It's that time of year again and we're sure you're thrilled. Tax season can be a troublesome time of year for many. Not only do we have to worry about a looming deadline, but we also have to pull out documents and receipts from the whole previous year—this is especially difficult for those of us who aren't organization lovers. Then sprinkle in the confusion that is tax law and you have a recipe for disaster.

Although tax time has its obstacles, it doesn't mean it has to be a stressful hurdle. One of the most important elements for a stress-free tax season is preparation.

Getting prepared to filing your taxes

The first part of tax preparation is being on the lookout for tax forms in our correspondence. Remember that companies can now send you tax forms through the mail or they can house the forms online where you can access them with a password. You won't be ready to file until you've received W-2 forms from employers, 1099s from companies for which you did contract work and documents from your bank and investment firm on interest and mortgage interest paid.

Collect your documents and make sure they're accurate. If you find an error, contact the company and ask for a corrected document.

Next, you should gather together your receipts. That includes day-to-day expenses as well as any receipts for charitable donations. Your previous year's tax return can be helpful too.

Some other important documents you may need include:

  • Social Security Number or tax ID number
  • Education payments like a 1098-T form from your educational institution or a 1098-E form if you paid student loan interest
  • Self-employment information like a 1099-MISC form and records of business expenses
  • Rental property income
  • Retirement and income contributions

For more information on what forms you might need and how to file your taxes visit the IRS website at,

We know tax time can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be if you prepare in advance. Get organized, gather your materials and you'll be well on your way to tax filing relief.

Identity Guard is committed to helping you not only protect yourself from identity theft, but also understand how it can happen. Count on us to get tips and advice to help guard against all sorts of identity related fraud, including tax fraud.

Want to read more great tax tips? Follow us on our blog, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to keep up with our weekly #TaxRace series for more essential tax time tips.