H&R Block Tax Identity Shield® helps protect tax identities
Service eases members’ worry by monitoring, protecting and restoring their tax identity
As part of National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month, H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) encourages consumers to guard their tax identity. Three ways they can do this include protecting their personal information, being aware of phishing and other scams, and filing their tax returns early in the season with a reputable preparer. Additionally, eligible H&R Block clients can purchase Tax Identity Shield®.
“By becoming a Tax Identity Shield® member when they complete their 2018 tax return, members can have a sense of security in knowing they have taken extra precautions against tax identity fraud, which isn’t the focus of similar products,” said Jeremy Morris, program director at H&R Block.
New for tax season 2019, Tax Identity Shield® monitoring is enhanced to include SSN alerts, which provide members a report of all the names and addresses associated with their Social Security number in credit header data, and they will receive monthly alerts if new activity is detected. One reason this matters: a possible consequence of a Social Security number being stolen and used to file a fraudulent return could delay the victim’s tax refund up to six months.
“Concerns about protecting their identity and knowing immediately when their information has been breached is top of mind for many people, and H&R Block understands these concerns and wants to help. H&R Block Tax Identity Shield® gives clients these three areas of enhanced protection of their tax identity: notification they might or have become a victim, proactive IRS protections, and restoration services,” Morris said.
Other monitoring features include daily, black market internet scans for member’s personal information, and notification if someone else tries to file a tax return with H&R Block using their stolen personal information. As needed, other services include assistance applying for IRS tax fraud protections and access to identity theft restoration agents for tax identity restoration. A risk assessment is included for members whose return was prepared by a tax professional.
Tax Identity Shield® is available to all clients who work with a tax professional in an H&R Block office. It also can be added to DIY online products, and desktop software products downloaded from hrblock.com.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2018, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3.1 billion with over 23 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.
Tax identity theft is a multi-million-dollar business. In 2016, the IRS identified more than 1 million fraudulent returns.
Read Jeff Jones’ statement on protecting taxpayers from the 2018 IRS Security Summit with the new IRS commissioner, fellow tax industry CEOs, and state tax commissioners.