Creating Data Security Plans – What Tax Pros Should Know

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Security, Security Summit

Creating Data Security Plans - What Tax Pros Should Know

Creating Data Security Plans – What Tax Pros Should Know Tax pros must create a written security plan to protect their clients’ data. In fact, the law requires them to make this plan. Creating a data security plan is one part of the new Taxes-Security-Together Checklist. The IRS and its Security Summit partners created this checklist. It helps tax professionals protect sensitive data in their offices and on their computers. Many tax preparers may not realize they are required under federal law to have a data security plan. Each plan should be tailored for each specific office. When creating it, the tax professional should take several factors into consideration. This includes things like the company’s size, the nature of its activities, and the sensitivity of its customer information. Creating a plan Tax professionals should make sure to do these things when writing and following their data security plans: Include the name of all information security program managers. Identify all risks to customer information. Evaluate risks and current safety measures. Design a program to protect data. Put the data protection program in place. Regularly monitor and test the program. Selecting a service provider Companies should have a written contract with their … Read More

ICYMI: Security Summit Warns of New IRS Impersonation Email Scam

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Online Scams, Security Summit

ICYMI: Security Summit Warns of New IRS Impersonation Email Scam

ICYMI: Security Summit Warns of New IRS Impersonation Email Scam; Reminds Taxpayers the IRS Does Not Send Unsolicited Emails Note to NSTP members – please get out the word to your clients about this new scam. This is a fast growing scam and many taxpayers have been affected. The link in the email sends them to a website that is an exact duplicate of the IRS Website. Remind your clients that the IRS NEVER communicates by email to taxpayers. The first point of contact will always be a notice or assessment through the U.S. mail. The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners warned taxpayers and tax professionals about a new IRS impersonation scam campaign spreading nationally on email. Remember: the IRS does not send unsolicited emails and never emails taxpayers about the status of refunds. The IRS this week detected this new scam as taxpayers began notifying phishing@irs.gov about unsolicited emails from IRS imposters. The email subject line may vary, but recent examples use the phrase “Automatic Income Tax Reminder” or “Electronic Tax Return Reminder.” The emails have links that show an IRS.gov-like website with details pretending to be about the taxpayer’s refund, electronic return or tax account. … Read More

Taxes-Security-Together Checklist – Step 2: Written Data Security Plan

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Security, Security Summit

'Taxes-Security-Together' Checklist - Step 2: Tax Professionals Reminded

Taxes-Security-Together Checklist – Step 2: Written Data Security Plan The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry today reminded all “professional tax preparers” that federal law requires them to create a written information security plan to protect their clients’ data. The reminder came as the IRS and its Security Summit partners urged tax professionals to take time this summer to review their data security protections. To help them in this complex area, the Summit created a special “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist as a starting point. “Protecting taxpayer data is not only a good business practice, it’s the law for professional tax preparers,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Creating and putting into action a written data security plan is critical to protecting your clients and protecting your business.” Creating a data security plan is the second item on the “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist. The first step for tax professionals involved deploying the “Security Six” basic steps to protect computers and email. Although the Security Summit — a partnership between the IRS, states and the private-sector tax community — is making major progress against tax-related identity theft, cybercriminals continue to evolve, and data thefts at tax professionals’ offices remain a major threat. Thieves use … Read More

Taxes-Security-Together Checklist – Step 1 of Tax Security 2.0

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Security

Tax Security 2.0 - A 'Taxes-Security-Together Checklist - Step 1

TAX SECURITY 2.0 – A ‘TAXES-SECURITY-TOGETHER’ CHECKLIST – STEP 1: IRS, states and industry outline ‘Security Six’ protections to help tax professionals and taxpayers be safer online Using a new “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist, the Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit partners urged tax professionals to review critical security steps to ensure they are fully protecting their computers and email as well as safeguarding sensitive taxpayer data. In the first of a five-part weekly series, the initial step on the checklist involves the “Security Six” protections. These steps fall into several major security categories. “These six steps are simple actions that anyone can take,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The important thing to remember is that every tax professional, whether a sole practitioner or a partner in a large firm, is a potential target for cybercriminals. No tax business should assume they are too small or too smart to avoid identity thieves.” Although the Security Summit – a partnership between the IRS, states and the private-sector tax community – is making major progress against tax-related identity theft, cybercriminals continue to evolve, and data thefts at tax professionals’ offices continue. Thieves use stolen data from tax practitioners to create fraudulent returns that … Read More

Tax Scams Continue Year-Round

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Online Scams

Tax Scams Continue Year-round

Tax Scams Continue Year-Round Although the April filing deadline has passed, scam artists remain hard at work, and the IRS is urging taxpayers to be on the lookout for a spring surge of evolving phishing emails and telephone scams. The IRS is seeing signs of two new variations of tax-related scams. One involves Social Security numbers related to tax issues and another threatens people with a tax bill from a fictional government agency. Here are some details: The SSN hustle. The latest twist includes scammers claiming to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s Social Security number. In this variation, the Social Security cancellation threat scam is similar to and often associated with the IRS impersonation scam. It is yet another attempt by con artists to frighten people into returning ‘robocall’ voicemails. Scammers may mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the person’s SSN. Fake tax agency. This scheme involves the mailing of a letter threatening an IRS lien or levy. The lien or levy is based on bogus delinquent taxes owed to a non-existent agency, “Bureau of Tax Enforcement.” There is no such agency. The lien notification scam also likely references the IRS to confuse potential … Read More

TIGTA Releases Spring Semiannual Report

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)

TIGTA Releases Spring Semiannual Report

TIGTA releases spring semiannual report “January 2019 marked the 20th anniversary of TIGTA’s establishment as an independent organization. In July of 1998, Congress approved and the President signed into law the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. In January 1999, TIGTA became operational as a newly formed Office of Inspector General, and for 20 years now it has faithfully served the American people by providing fair, effective, and efficient oversight of the IRS and the Nation’s tax administration system. I am confident that TIGTA will continue to successfully carry out its mission in 2019 and beyond.” J. Russell George, Inspector General On June 3, 2019, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its spring semiannual report to Congress. The report, covering the period of October 2018, through March 2019, has identified challenges faced by the IRS between October and March and focused their audits in those areas. These management and performance challenges fell into these categories: Security over taxpayer data and protection of IRS resources; Implementing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other tax law changes; Identity theft and impersonation fraud; Improving tax reporting and payment compliance; And achieving program efficiencies and cost savings. TIGTA's Spring … Read More