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Safeguarding Taxpayer Information (Updated 8/19/2015)

Safeguarding taxpayer information is a top priority for the Internal Revenue Service. It is the responsibility of governments, businesses, organizations and individuals that receive, maintain, share, transmit or store taxpayers’ personal information. Taxpayer information is information furnished in any form or manner by or on behalf of taxpayers for preparation or filing of their returns. Authorized IRS e-file Providers must safeguard taxpayer information from unauthorized disclosure, use, and destruction. In addition, they must be diligent in detecting and preventing identity-theft fraud patterns and schemes to protect taxpayers and IRS e-file from identity-theft refund fraud. Early detection of these patterns and schemes is critical to stopping them and their adverse impacts, and to protecting taxpayers and IRS e-file.

Providers must have security systems in place to prevent unauthorized access by third parties to taxpayer accounts and personal information. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 6801-6827, and the implementing rules and regulations promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission include rules that are designed to ensure the security and privacy of taxpayer information and are applicable to Providers. Providers should become familiar with the Privacy and Security Rules and other important information regarding safeguarding personal information available at the FTC Web site.

Providers must implement security and privacy practices that are appropriate for the size, complexity, nature and scope of their business activities. The IRS Publication 4600, Safeguarding Taxpayer Information Quick Reference Guide for Business, and Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data A Guide for Your Business, contain information to help non-governmental businesses, organizations and individuals to understand and meet their responsibility to safeguard taxpayer information.

The IRS may set forth additional safeguarding requirements for Providers as it determines appropriate. The requirements will be included in revisions of appropriate e-file publications or published on the IRS Web Site at

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 19-Aug-2015