Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself — Summer 2022

The Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit partners urged tax professionals this summer to take basic actions to stem the data theft from their offices.

"Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself — Summer 2022" focuses on a reminder for tax pros to focus on fundamentals and to watch out for emerging vulnerabilities being seen for those practitioners using cloud-based services for their practice.

Identity thieves were especially active this past year as they continued to use the pandemic, nationwide teleworking practices, and other events as predatory tactics for a variety of scams.

Tax professionals are prime targets of criminal syndicates that are both tech- and tax-savvy and well-funded. These scammers either trick or hack their way into tax professionals' computer systems to access client data. Even when tax pros think they have client data stored in a secure cloud, lack of strong authentication can make this information vulnerable.

Thieves can use stolen data to file fraudulent tax returns that make it more difficult for the IRS and the states to detect because the fraudulent returns use real financial information. Other data thieves sell the basic tax preparer or taxpayer information on the web so other fraudsters can try filing fraudulent tax returns.

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