Tax Tip 2017-66, October 26, 2017
More and more, cybercriminals target tax professionals looking to access taxpayer data. These criminals use the information to file fake tax returns. Many tax pros think it can’t happen to them, but it can – and it does. The IRS reminds all tax preparers they have a responsibility to protect and secure sensitive data.
To prevent data theft, the IRS partnered with state tax agencies and members of the tax industry to create the Security Summit. Through this partnership, they are fighting identity theft. While they make progress, criminals need more data to file fraudulent returns. This in turn makes tax professionals, payroll professionals, and employers targets of identity thieves.
Security Summit partners remind tax professionals to take all possible steps to secure data. They can:
- Visit the Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself page where the IRS posts alerts.
- Review the Don’t Take the Bait page to find steps taxpayers can take to recognize common criminal tactics.
- Check out Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals (PDF). The National Institute of Standards and Technology issues this publication.
- Review Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data (PDF). This pub provides a check list that tax preparers can use to for create a security plan.
- Protect their e-Services account password, Electronic Filing Identification Number, and Preparer Tax Identification Number from theft.
- Earn continuing education credit for taking qualified courses on data security.
- Subscribe to e-News for Tax Professionals or to Quick Alerts.
- Visit the IRS on social media – @IRStaxpros on Twitter and Facebook.com/IRStaxpros.