tax season


Avoid Scams This Tax Season

taxes

Is there anything more confusing than doing your taxes?  Okay maybe there is, but taxes are pretty high up on the list.  As if this time of year weren’t confusing enough, you also have to be on the look out for tax related scams that could really start your year off on the wrong foot.  Keep these tips in mind and avoid scams this tax season!

  • It’s important to remember that the Internal Revenue Service does not contact taxpayers via email asking for personal information.  They do not ask for confidential information such as passwords or credit card information, so if you do come across an email or get a phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS employee, report it right away to phishing@irs.gov.
  • If you do receive an email, do not click on any links that may be in it, simply forward it to the email address listed above.
  • If a business is asking for your social security number, do not give it to them if it’s optional.
  • Check your credit report every 12 months.  It’s a good idea to do this to make sure you haven’t accidentally forgotten to pay any bills or taxes which could bring down your score, and to make sure no one has been taking out loans or opening credit cards in your name.  The sooner you identify one of these problems, the sooner it can get taken care of before getting worse.
  • Do not give out personal information over the phone, email, or in the mail unless you are the one initiating contact.  Scam artists will often pose as financial institutions and trick people into providing them with personal financial information, if you have any doubts it’s best to reach out to the institution yourself and ask if they are looking for such information.  If not, let them know that someone is contacting customers posing as that institution.
  • Don’t carry around documents with your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).  Should you lose your wallet or get pick pocketed, a thief could do some serious damage with such information.
  • If you have financial information on your computer or frequently pay bills or make purchases online, make sure your computer has firewalls and anti-virus software so that hackers can’t access your financial information.
  • If you do decide to hire someone else to file your taxes, do your research.  Ask friends and family members if they can recommend anyone.
  • Limit the amount of people that have access to your personal financial information.
  • Keep in mind that even if someone else does file your taxes for you, you are still responsible for everything on the form.

If you keep these tips in mind, you should avoid scammers this tax season and file without any issues.

Photo By: 401(K) 2012

Wondering How You Should Spend Your Tax Return? Put It Towards Your Insurance!

tax return

Who doesn’t love getting a nice check back from the government after tax season? Although it may be tempting to head to the mall for a shopping spree or buy that TV you’ve had your eye on, putting your tax return towards insurance is a smart choice that may save you a lot of money in the future!  Believe it or not, the more you spend up front, the more you can save!

If you have a few extra bucks after tax season, call up your insurance agent and ask what your options are.  They may suggest increasing your coverage, which may in turn lower your monthly payments!  Although you would have to pay more out of pocket if you were to have an accident, you could put your tax return in a savings account just in case you ever needed to pay out your deductible.  If you don’t end up getting into an accident or using your deductible, you have that much more money in the bank, not to mention all of the money you would likely save on your monthly bill.  This sounds like an all around win if you ask us and applies to both auto and homeowner’s insurance!

Depending on how big your tax return is, you could even pay off your homeowner’s or auto policy in full!  How great would it be to not have to worry about a monthly payment for the entire year?  Not only would you be worry free, you would also get a discount for paying the policy in full!  This discount varies from carrier to carrier but typically you can save up to 5% off your premium.

Another thing you can put your money towards?  If you have a pet, why not invest in their health and get pet insurance!  Your furry friend deserves to be protected should they be a little under the weather, after all, humans have health insurance so why shouldn’t animals?  No matter how much we love our pets and look out for them, anything can happen.  They could get loose and get hit by a car, or even develop a suspicious tumor that needs to be checked out, whether they’re young or old, your pets should be covered.  If you haven’t been to the vet’s lately, it’s extremely expensive for each visit, even a simple problem such as an ear infection can run you up a few hundred dollars, for about the same price (depending on your pet’s age, breed, etc), you can cover all of your pet’s health needs for the entire year!

When it comes to insurance, the more you spend up front, the more you can save in the long run!  If you find yourself coming across a big chunk of change after tax season, give us a call at MassDrive!  If you already have a policy, talk to us about increasing your coverages, and if you don’t currently have a policy, give us a call and get a quote!  We also offer pet insurance so all members of your family will be protected!

Photo By: 401 (K) 2013

 

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