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May 5, 2021

TAS Tax Tips: Keep safe on social media at tax time – Don’t post or message tax info

Keep safe on social media at tax time

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 (TAS) 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 and even comment publicly about something, 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.

Never post your:

  • IRS account transcripts,
  • IRS Where’s My Refund status images,
  • Refund amounts,
  • Bank account or routing numbers,
  • Pictures or snapshots of tax returns and other documents with tax and personal information on them such as TAS Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance.

TAS does not have the ability to open cases or respond to incoming messaging originating from our social media sites or any of our subscriber lists. If you qualify for TAS assistance, please follow the instructions on our “Submit a Request for Assistance” page.

Official Information Sources

Both the TAS and the IRS 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. Unfortunately, the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is exactly the type of situation that thieves and fraudsters look for to exploit.

The current IRS tax return processing programming 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 as informed as possible.

Internal Revenue Service Resources

Safety information

Refund status tools and information

Taxpayer Advocate Service Resources

Safety information

Refund status tools and information