CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — Tax payers can start filing for a 2017 tax return Monday, January 29, and the Internal Revenue Service says it’s better to do it sooner than later.

Last year’s massive Equifax breach means there are more than 145 million potential identity theft victims.

Charleston area Certified Public Accountant, Will Russell, says you’ll know if you’re a tax fraud victim when you file.

“When you go to file your return, you’ll receive a notice from the IRS that says a return has been filed using your social security number,” said Russell.

Your social security number is all someone needs to file a fraudulent return.

Russell says the safest way to file is to E-file, but make sure you protect your paper W-2. Shred any unnecessary documents.

Additionally, Russell says that if you hire a third party to file your taxes, make sure they are a reputable agency.

If you are a victim of tax fraud, you will have to notify the Federal Trade Commission. For more information about how to do that, plus many other tax filing tips, click here to be redirected to the IRS website.