Frequently Asked Questions

The Ohio Department of Taxation has compiled a list of frequently asked questions covering many different categories.

To view the questions, click on the "Select Category" bar and then click on the category you are interested in.  A list of questions will appear pertaining to that category. Then click on the question you are inquiring about and the answer will appear.

What are some tips to safeguard your SSN and other personal information?

  1. Check your credit report annually for free at: www.annualcreditreport.com.
  2. Keep your Social Security card in a safe place and only carry with you when absolutely necessary.  Also, only share your Social Security number (SSN) with others when absolutely necessary and when you initiate the contact with whoever needs your SSN to access your records. Do not leave identification cards or other documentation which contains personally identifiable information (PII) in a vulnerable place (Examples: unlocked vehicle, vehicle parked outside, public location, etc.).  
  3. Protect your personal computer or other devices with appropriate firewalls, anti-spam/virus software, update patches, and use strong and frequently changed passwords for internet accounts.  
  4. Use file encryption for sensitive data and password protect important documents which are stored on your hard drive. 
  5. Do not access websites or documents with your personal information available while connected to public WiFi (Ex: airports) or while connected to an unprotected WiFi.  Also, do not give out your WiFi password to others that you don’t fully trust.   
  6. Be cognizant of phishing e-mails directing you to untrusted websites or promising large sums of money for tasks such as wiring money. Typically you do not want to click on e-mail links but rather go directly to that company's website instead. Also, to avoid malware, don't open attachments in e-mails unless you know who sent it and what it contains.  
  7. Be aware of phone call scams where you may be contacted unexpectedly and asked for your SSN or other personal information.  For example, the documented IRS Impersonation scam where you may be threatened to pay large sums of money immediately or face prison time/deportation by representing that the victims owe back taxes and other fees. The impersonater may even demand the funds be paid via prepaid debit cards, money orders, wire transfers or even gift cards. Below are some helpful tips to be mindful of if you receive a suspicious phone call:     
    • The IRS generally first contacts people by mail - not by phone - about unpaid taxes and the IRS will not insist on payment using an iTunes card, gift card, prepaid debit card, money order, or wire transfer. 
    • The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, text, or any social media. 
    • The IRS will never ask for a credit card number over the phone. If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, see our helpful tips below:
      • If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
      • If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation Scam” form on TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov, or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
      • You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov.  Add “IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.
  8. A data breach is defined as an incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data has potentially been viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so. Data breaches most commonly involve gaining unauthorized access to personally identifiable information (PII). Some data breaches may only include limited data such as an e-mail address or phone number while others may include more detailed data such as your SSN, address, date of birth, credit card, debit card or bank account numbers. Identifying what pieces of your personal data are compromised can help you take the necessary steps to mitigate or prevent future issues. Employers and tax professionals may also fall victim to a data breach. If you have been exposed to a data breach, contact the applicable company to learn what personally identifiable information (PII) was stolen. Please also contact the Ohio Department of Taxation at 1-800-282-1780 to speak with a representative.
  9. Shred all documents that contain any personal identifiable information (PII) before throwing away.
  10. Avoid sharing too much personal detail on social media. Identity thieves can use that information (Ex: employer information, date of birth, address, phone number, etc.) to supplement data they may already have on you in their illicit schemes.

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