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Security Summit

The IRS has joined with representatives of the software industry, tax preparation firms, payroll and tax financial product processors and state tax administrators to combat identity theft refund fraud to protect the nation's taxpayers.

The Security Summit consists of IRS, state tax agencies and the tax community, including tax preparation firms, software developers, payroll and tax financial product processors, tax professional organizations and financial institutions. Total membership includes 42 state agencies and 20 industry offices in addition to the IRS. 

The Security Summit members are organized into six work groups, each tasked with addressing an area of need and each with a co-lead from the IRS, states and industry.

Key IRS Identity Theft Indicators Continue Dramatic Decline in 2017; Security Summit Continues Progress

The Internal Revenue Service announced steep declines in tax-related identity theft in 2017 following the success of the Security Summit effort. Key indicators of identity theft dropped for the second year in a row in 2017. This includes a 40 percent decline in taxpayers reporting they are victims of identity theft in 2016. Since 2015, the number of tax-related identity theft victims has fallen by almost two-thirds and billions of dollars of taxpayer refunds have been protected.

IR-2018-21, Feb. 8, 2018, Key IRS Identity Theft Indicators Continue Dramatic Decline in 2017; Security Summit Continues Progress

Statement by Intuit on the Security Summit

Statement by H&R Block on the Security Summit

Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud - Information Sharing and Analysis Center

In 2016, Security Summit partners agreed there was a need for a formal public-private partnership where sharing could take place in a collaborative environment based on partner-agreed rules.

In 2017, the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry created a public/private partnership, to facilitate information sharing consistent with applicable law, and analytics necessary to detect, prevent, and deter activities related to stolen identity refund fraud.

The ISAC’s purpose is to:

  • Facilitate information exchange for tax administration purposes related to identity theft tax refund fraud.
  • Provide a forum for participants to discuss real-time responses to such fraud schemes.
  • Promote the advancement of data analysis, capabilities, methodologies and strategies to detect, reduce, and prevent this type of fraud.

The ISAC has issued its first Annual Report that highlights key accomplishments across three measures:

  1. Levels of industry and state participation in the ISAC
  2. Volume and quality of alert and data contributions that identify ecosystem threats
  3. Volume and quality of ISAC’s data analysis to identify suspected fraud

This report also outlines the ISAC’s strategic plans going forward, to ensure a tax ecosystem where taxpayers can confidently file their taxes safely and securely.

For an overview of what the Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud (ISAC) is doing to prevent identity theft see Using a Public‐Private Partnership to Address a Common Problem and How the ISAC Compliments the Security Summit.

Tax Security Awareness

The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry held a National Tax Security Awareness Week November 27 -December 1, 2017 to encourage both individual and business taxpayers to take steps to protect their tax data and identities in advance of the 2018 filing season.

  • Monday: Online Security - Seven Steps for Safety
  • Tuesday: Avoid Phishing Emails by Data Thieves
  • Wednesday: Victims of Data Breaches Should Consider These Steps
  • Thursday: Employers, Payroll Officials, Avoid the W-2 Email Scam
  • Friday: Small Businesses: Be Alert to Identity Theft

Follow @IRSnews, @IRStaxpros and @IRSenEspanol on Twitter and look for the hashtag #TaxSecurity.

Security Summit Partners Mark Progress in Identity Theft Battle; Prepare for 2018 Tax Season

The latest data shows significant improvements as fewer identity theft returns entered the tax system, fewer fraudulent refunds were issued and fewer taxpayers reported themselves as victims of identity theft. The progress also underscored that the Security Summit partnership has led to stronger federal and state tax systems with important new protections for taxpayers.

For details on continued progress against tax-related identity theft and prepared additional safeguards for the 2018 filing season to curb refund fraud, please see the IRS news release.

“Don’t Take the Bait” Education Campaign

The Don't Take the Bait awareness series is focused on the need for tax professionals to increase their computer security and be cautious of spear phishing scams. Tax professionals must remember that they have a legal requirement under federal law to protect taxpayer information. See also: Continuing Education Credit for Qualified Data Security Courses.

Security Awareness Campaigns

Summit partners have held a series of public awareness campaigns directed at taxpayers and at tax professionals, encouraging both to take steps to protect themselves from identity thieves and cybercriminals.

Ongoing Efforts

Annual Reports

Additional Information for Individuals

Additional Information for Tax Professionals

Apply to Become a Member of the Security Summit

Organizations involved in the preparation and processing of tax returns and refunds (such as software firms, tax preparation firms, payroll processors or financial institutions and/or processors of tax time financial products) and governmental tax agencies are welcome to apply for membership in the Security Summit, a collaborative effort to fight identity theft tax refund fraud. If your agency or organization meets the required Membership Criteria, please complete the Security Summit Membership Application and submit a statement of interest describing your role, mission and functional responsibilities within the tax ecosystem. Also see the Required Criteria and Qualifications “Statement of Interest” Example.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please e-mail publicliaison@irs.gov.

Security Summit

We all have a role.