Every tax professional in the United States -- whether a member of a major accounting firm or an owner of a one-person storefront -- is a potential target for highly sophisticated, well-funded and technologically adept cybercriminals around the world.
Their objective: to steal your clients’ data so they can file fraudulent tax returns that better impersonate their victims and are harder to detect. Their tactics: using email, the phone or other means to trick you into giving up computer passwords, e-Services passwords, to steal your EFINs or CAF numbers or even to take remote control of your entire computer system.
Protecting client data also is the law. Federal Trade Commission regulations require professional tax preparers to create and enact security plans to protect client data. Review IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, for details and security recommendations. Also, see IRS Publication 5293, Data Theft Resource Guide for Tax Professionals, for a roundup of IRS.gov information.
No one can fight this crime alone. It takes all of us, working together. That is why the Security Summit - the unprecedented partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies, and the private-sector tax industry - came together to form a united and coordinated front against this common enemy. And, that’s why the Summit partners – through the “Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself” awareness campaign - are asking tax professionals nationwide to join this effort.
To stay up to date on the latest threats and scams, bookmark and follow this page. You also should register for e-News for Tax Professionals or, if you are an e-Services user, register for Quick Alerts to stay atop latest news and threats. Follow us on social media at Twitter.com/IRStaxpros, Twitter.com/IRSNews and Facebook.com/IRStaxpros.
Events and campaigns
National Tax Security Awareness Week, Dec. 3-7, 2018
National Tax Security Awareness Week, Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2017
National Tax Security Awareness Week, Dec. 5 - 9, 2016
News Releases and Scam Alerts
IR-2018-132, June 7, 2018, With hurricane season underway, IRS warns of scams related to natural disasters
IR-2018-129, May 31, 2018, IRS continues warning on impersonation scams; Reminds people to remain alert to other scams, schemes this summer
IR-2018-125, May 24, 2018, IRS warns tax pros of new scam posing as professional associations
IR-2018-119, May 10, 2018, IRS warns of variation of Form W-8BEN scam; crooks impersonate IRS to get banking and other information
IR-2018-111, May 3, 2018, IRS urges small businesses: Protect IT systems from identity theft.
IR-2018-103, April 24, 2018, IRS, Security Summit Partners warn of new twist on phone scam; crooks direct taxpayers to IRS.gov to “verify” calls.
IR-2018-88, April 9, 2018, IRS, Summit Partners warn on tax deadline scams, 'IRS Refunds' email
IR-2018-68, March 22, 2018, Summit partners warn tax pros to be on alert; step up security measures
IR-2018-61, March 16, 2018, Security Summit urges tax pros to protect their identification numbers: EFINs, PTINs and CAF numbers
IR-2018-27, Feb. 13, 2018, Scam Alert: IRS Urges Taxpayers to Watch Out for Erroneous Refunds; Beware of Fake Calls to Return Money to a Collection Agency
IR-2018-17, Feb. 2, 2018, Tax Pros Urged to Step Up Security as Filing Scheme Emerges, Reminded to Report Data Thefts
IR-2018-8, Jan. 17, 2018, IRS, States and Tax Industry Warn Employers to Beware of Form W-2 Scam; Tax Season Could Bring New Surge in Phishing Scheme
IR-2018-02, Jan. 09, 2018, Security Summit Partners Warn Tax Pros of Heightened Fraud Activity as Filing Season Approaches
IR-2017-203, Dec. 13, 2017, Consumer Alert: IRS Warns Taxpayers, Tax Pros of New Email Scam Targeting Hotmail Users
IR-2017-176, Oct. 17, 2017, Security Summit Partners Mark Progress in Identity Theft Battle; Prepare for 2018 Tax Season
IR-2017-173, Oct. 13, 2017, IRS Issues Reminder to Taxpayers as Scams Continue Across the Nation
IR-2017-171, Oct. 12, 2017, Fake Insurance Tax Form Scam Aims at Stealing Data from Tax Pros, Clients
IR-2017-170, Oct. 11, 2017, Consumer Alert: IRS Warns Taxpayers, Tax Pros of New e-Services Scam
IR-2017-134, Aug. 28, 2017, IRS Issues Urgent Warning to Beware IRS FBI Themed Ransomware Scam
IR-2017-126, Aug. 4, 2017, Security Summit Alert: Tax Pros Warned of New Scam to Steal Their Passwords
IR-2017-117, July 6, 2017, Security Summit Launches Education Campaign Aimed at Tax Pros; Warns Against Phishing Epidemic with “Don’t Take the Bait” series
IR-2017-112, June 26, 2017, IRS Cautions Taxpayers to Watch for Summertime Scams
IR-2017-111, June 23, 2017, Security Summit Warns of New Phishing Email Targeting Tax Pros
IR-2017-107, June 15, 2017, IRS Warns of New Phone Scam Involving Bogus Certified Letters; Reminds People to Remain Vigilant Against Scams, Schemes this Summer
IR-2017-86, April 19, 2017, IRS Provides Tips on Determining If It’s Really The IRS At Your Door
IR-2017-78, April 10, 2017, IRS Alerts Taxpayers with Limited English Proficiency of Ongoing Phone Scams; Urges Caution Before Paying Unexpected Tax Bills
IR-2017-71, March 31, 2017, Tax Professionals Warned of e-Services Scam; Urged to be Wary of Schemes as Filing Season Deadline Approaches
IR-2017-64, March 17, 2017, IRS, States and Tax Industry Warn of Last-Minute Email Scams
IR-2017-39, Feb. 17, 2017, Security Summit Alert: Tax Professionals Warned of New Scam to “Unlock” Their Tax Software Accounts
IR-2017-20, Feb. 2, 2017, Dangerous W-2 Phishing Scam Evolving; Targeting Schools, Restaurants, Hospitals, Tribal Groups and Others
IR-2017-10, Jan. 25, 2017, IRS, States and Tax Industry Renew Alert about Form W-2 Scam Targeting Payroll, Human Resource Departments
IR-2017-03, Jan. 11, 2017, Security Summit Alert: New Two-Stage Email Scheme Targets Tax Professionals
IR-2016-163, Dec. 7, 2016, Protect Your Clients: Security Summit Partners Warn Tax Pros of Cybercriminals, Launch New Awareness Tips
IR-2016-156, Dec. 01, 2016, IRS, Security Summit Partners Announce “National Tax Security Awareness Week” beginning Dec. 5
IR-2016-145, Nov. 4, 2016, IRS Warns Tax Professionals of New e-Services E-mail Scam
IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2016-13, September 23, 2016, Beware of Fake IRS Tax Bill Notices
IR-2016-119, Sept. 2, 2016, IRS Warns of a New Wave of Attacks Focused on Tax Professionals
IR-2016-116, Aug. 30, 2016, New Security Summit Video Warns Tax Pros of Cybercriminal Threats; Urges Precautionary Steps
IR-2016-103, Aug. 11, 2016, New Phishing Scheme Mimics Software Providers; Targets Tax Professionals
IR-2016-96, July 6, 2016, IRS, Partners Warn Tax Preparers of Data Theft Risks; Launch New Campaign to Increase Awareness
IRS Statement, April 15, 2016, New Tax Scam Targeting Tax Professionals
IR-2016-62, April 13, 2016, IRS Warns of Continued Scams, Varied Tactics as the Tax Deadline Nears
IR-2016-55, April 6, 2016, IRS Warns Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia Residents of New Phishing Scam Targeting National Capital Area
IR-2016-45, March 21, 2016, IRS’s Top 10 Identity Theft Prosecutions: Criminal Investigation Continues Efforts to Halt Refund Fraud
IR-2016-40, March 14, 2016, Consumer Alert: Scammers Change Tactics, Once Again
IR-2016-34, March 1, 2016, IRS Alerts Payroll and HR Professionals to Phishing Scheme Involving W-2s
IR-2016-28, Feb. 18, 2016, Consumers Warned of New Surge in IRS Email Schemes during 2016 Tax Season; Tax Industry Also Targeted
IR-2016-12, Feb. 1, 2016, Identity Theft an Ongoing Concern on the IRS Annual "Dirty Dozen" List of Tax Scams to Avoid
FS-2016-23, July 2016, Tax Professionals: Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Data Theft Information for Tax Professionals – What to do if you become a victim
Identity Theft Information for Tax Professionals - How to Protect Yourself and Clients
We all have a role.