You’ve probably been hearing a lot lately about tax identity theft. News organizations report these events when thieves steal the personal information of customers or employees from large businesses or government entities. But tax identity theft happens on a smaller scale too — and your business could be a target.
Here are two ways your company — and your company’s reputation — can be hurt by this crime.
- Your credit. Your federal employer identification number or EIN is analogous to a social security number. Thieves can use your EIN for similar purposes, including opening business credit cards, establishing bank or merchant processing accounts, or applying for credit lines with suppliers.
- Bogus tax liability. You’re required to use your EIN as an identifying number on payroll reports such as Forms W-2. Criminals can use a stolen EIN to create fake returns that report non-existent salaries to the IRS or your state department of revenue. The result? The thief gets fraudulent tax refunds and you get notices stating that you’ve underpaid your payroll tax liabilities.Be cautious with your EIN. Use IRS “Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party,” to keep current your business mailing address, location, and identity of responsible parties such as officers and partners. If you receive a CP148B notice from the IRS regarding a change of address, verify the change is correct.
Give us a call whenever you have concerns about personal or business identity theft. We’ll help you assess the risk and work out a plan for recovering from the fraud. Always remember, we’re here so that you can relax!
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