Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself

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.

Stay connected

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

Tax Security 2.0 – The “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist, Summer 2019

National Tax Security Awareness Week, Dec. 3-7, 2018

Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself: Tax Security 101 Summer 2018

Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

Don’t Take the Bait, Summer 2017

National Tax Security Awareness Week, Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2017

National Tax Security Awareness Week, Dec. 5 - 9, 2016

IRS Security Awareness Tax Tips

Taxes. Security. Together.

News Releases and Scam Alerts

IR-2019-101, June 4, 2019, IRS takes additional steps to protect taxpayer data; plans to end faxing and third-party mailings of certain tax transcripts

IR-2019-66, April 8, 2019, IRS, Security Summit partners mark significant progress against identity theft; key taxpayer protection trends continue

IR-2019-58, March 27, 2019, IRS revises EIN application process; seeks to enhance security

IR-2019-50, March 20, 2019, IRS announces arrests and indictments after two-week campaign to fight refund fraud and identity theft

IR-2019-30, March 6, 2019, Identity theft remains on IRS’ "Dirty Dozen" list despite progress

IR-2019-26, March 4, 2019, IRS kicks off annual list of most prevalent tax scams: Agency warns taxpayers of pervasive phishing schemes in its ‘Dirty Dozen’ campaign

IR-2018-253, Dec. 17, 2018, IRS, Security Summit partners warn tax professionals of fake payroll direct deposit and wire transfer emails

IR-2018-228, Nov. 20, 2018, Security Summit plans National Tax Security Awareness Week, Dec. 3-7; New Twitter handle launched, ‘Dark Web’ webinar planned

IR-2018-193, Sept. 27, 2018, IRS alerts taxpayers: Scammers scheming around Oct. 15 deadline; Here’s what to do

IR-2018-188, Sept. 18, 2018, IRS warns of scams related to natural disasters

IR-2018-171, Aug. 22, 2018, IRS to introduce new tax transcript to better protect taxpayer data

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

Fact Sheets

FS-2018-21, December 2018, IRS offers tips to tax professionals to reduce CAF number errors, better protect data from cyberthieves

FS-2018-16, September 2018, Coming soon: A new tax transcript to better protect taxpayer data

FS-2018-12, May 2018, Avoid scams: Know the facts on how the IRS contacts taxpayers

FS-2018-6, April 2018, When to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit

FS-2017-10, July 2017, Information on Identity Theft for Business, Partnerships and Estate and Trusts

FS-2017-4, March 2017, Identity Theft Information for Tax Professionals

FS-2016-23, July 2016, Tax Professionals: Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Videos

IRS Tax Pro Playlist, YouTube

IRS Identity Theft Playlist, YouTube

Publications

Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data

Publication 5293, Data Theft Resource Guide for Tax Professionals

NIST Publication NISTIR 7621, Small Business Information Security – The Fundamentals

Publication 4524, Security Awareness for Taxpayers

Related Resources

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

Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance

Taxes. Security. Together. We all have a role to play in protecting your data

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