AUGUSTA, GA. (WJBF)- It’s tax season is still among us, and if you haven’t filed your taxes just yet, accounting firms are making sure they’ve got you covered.

Tax season means scam season, and whether you’ve been filing your taxes for years or you’re a first-time filer, local accountants have some tips on how to avoid getting scammed.

“Just make sure you protect your social security number just like it’s cash– you don’t want to leave it lying around, you wanna make sure you have good passwords on your phones,” Usry said. 

SME CPAs’ tax partner Andria Usry says, nowadays, it’s fairly easy to do your taxes online. 

“An online software is really all you need, you just wanna be careful to go through and answer all the questions, sometimes it can be a little confusing, but you know of course, a lot of them are really good at being self-explanatory or they walk you through the steps,” Usry said.

But, she also tells me that looking out for scams via text, email or over the phone is key to keeping your personal information safe. 

“Make sure that someone hasn’t already filed using your social security number. Unfortunately, we’ve had several times where people have e-filed, and their returns get rejected. So, that gives us a sign that, maybe somebody else has already filed on their behalf– um, they’ve stolen their identity,” Usry said.

If you’ve never filed taxes before, Usry tells those same online sources should help you through. 

“Usually, all you’ll have is a W-2, so you just wanna make sure that the withholding is correct, that the wages match when you get finished– as to what’s in the boxes on your W-2. So, just be careful,” Usry said. 

 But overall the biggest thing to be on the lookout for are those scam calls.

“Even if they are threatening that you’re gonna be locked up, you know, we hear that a lot. People get calls that they’re gonna be put in jail if they don’t, you know, respond to this call or do something immediately. So, it’s, it’s a scam,” Usry said.

If you haven’t filed your taxes, you still have time, the 2023 tax season deadline is set for April 18th.