New fraud protections may mean a late refund this year

Those who use Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit will be most affected

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Internal Revenue Service has extra safeguards in place to protect you from tax season identity theft, but this added security means your refund will be delayed.

This will affect the people who need the money the most: the millions of low-income people who claim the Earned Income or Child Tax Credit.

Ray Maagero of Liberty Tax explained some ways to make sure you don’t fall victim to tax fraud. “Well you want to make sure that your tax preparer has proper firewalls. Their computers should be password protected. You want to go to a reputable firm and basically just be careful with your information,” Maagero said.

A new report found that 1 in 16 people were a victim of some form of identity theft in 2016.

For certain people, refunds will not be issued until February 15, at the earliest. Maagero told 22News that even if your refund will be late, you should file early. That way, the IRS will be tipped-off if fraudsters try to file under your name.

If you feel that you have been a victim of fraud or identity theft, you should fill-out tax form 14039.