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IRS urging people to file taxes early, partly to decrease risk of identity theft

Posted at 5:01 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 18:17:45-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It’s just the beginning of tax season and Daryl Ivey isn’t wasting any time.

“I really wanted to get it done and then the issues of the government shutdown for the tax bills were kinda encouraging me to move on it fast,” Ivey said.

He’s one of many people getting tax help at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library.

“We are consistently busy with our community and the greater Kansas City area,” Shatomi Luster-Edward, a tax preparer, said.

IRS tax volunteers are helping out with the process.

“Providing free tax service just seems like something that helps a lot of people,” VITA volunteer Rachel Johannsen said.

Besides getting your return early, Luster-Edward said it can help prevent identity theft.

“The earlier you put something into the system, the better,” Luster-Edward said. “When I say system, basically it doesn't allow someone who might steal your identity an opportunity to do that because you're already there.”

It’s one of the reasons Ivey said he likes to do his taxes face-to-face.

“It concerns me more online than it does on the personal contact. I'm the more or less able to watch the paperwork I'm dealing with,” Ivey said. “It's bound to happen with technology but it doesn't bother me basically because if you took it, you wouldn't get nothing.”

Luster-Edward said identity theft is one of the reasons why the IRS is taking extra precautions when looking at earned income tax credit.

“The IRS is doing an extra check, if you will, so they're taking more time to check these earned income tax credit filers,” Luster-Edward said.

She said it’s to combat identity theft or credit related fraud.

If you’re looking for free tax preparation help, click here.