You go into a large chain such as HR Block, Jackson Hewitt , or Liberty Tax Service to file your taxes and assume they’ll be handling it on premises. Or you go into an accounting firm and figure that the person you’re speaking to is the one who will actually do the work. Before making that type of assumption, ask. With Internet access, it takes nothing for the person you’ve delegated your tax return filing to, in turn, outsource the work to someone in India or China who will do it overnight for as little as $50. You’re not just supporting someone in a third-world country, you’re also giving what Smart Money calls ‘a great gift’ to an identity thief. Nothing contains as much information as your tax return — your social security number, income, date of birth, account numbers . . . yikes! If that sounds like too much of a risk, ask your tax preparer a simple question: will you be preparing my return in-house or outsourcing it? If they’ll be outsourcing the actual work, find out what steps will be taken to protect your personal information. Or, better yet, find another tax preparer who will keep your information in-house.
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