Tax preparers should take another look at the Taxes-Security-Together Checklist

IRS Tax Tip 2019-129, September 18, 2019

Data thieves continue doing their dirty work. Despite major progress against them, their threats continue to put tax pros and their clients at risk. To help combat this, the IRS and its Security Summit partners created a new Taxes-Security-Together Checklist.

Following this checklist is a great starting point for tax professionals who want to protect their offices, computers and data.

Here's are the highlights of the recent tax tip series spotlighting the Taxes-Security-Together Checklist.

  1. Create a written security plan to protect client data. In fact, the law requires tax pros to make this plan. This plan can help save valuable time and protect tax professionals and taxpayers after a data theft (PDF).
     
  2. Deploy the "Security Six" protections. These are basic protections that everyone – especially tax professionals handling sensitive data – should use.
     
  3. Tax professionals should educate their employees to be on the lookout for phishing emails and about steps they can take to protect client data. Scam emails are still the most common tactic used by cybercriminals.
     
  4. Tax professionals and their employees should learn the tell-tale signs that their office may have experienced a data theft.
     
  5. Review their business' security measures and create a data theft recovery plan. One of the first things a preparer should do after a theft is contact the IRS.

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