Criminals are increasingly targeting tax professionals, not only to steal client data, but also to steal the professionals’ data such as EFINs, PTINs or e-Service passwords.
Tax preparers can help protect clients and their businesses from identity theft by checking their accounts to ensure the number of returns filed using their EFIN matches IRS records.
To access your EFIN information, log onto your e-Services account, select Application, then select e-File Application, click on your name and then select EFIN Status.
e-Services accounts are updated weekly with this information, so the IRS urges you to review the number of returns filed with your EFIN. If there are too many returns being filed with your EFIN, contact IRS at the e-Help Desk 1 (866) 255-0654
IRS offers many preparers the ability to monitor “Returns Filed per PTIN.” This information is available in the online PTIN system for tax return preparers who meet both of the following criteria. You must have.
- A professional credential (Enrolled Agent, Certified Public Accountant, Attorney, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent or Enrolled Actuary) or are an Annual Filing Season Program participant, and
- At least 50 tax returns from the Form 1040 series processed in the current year.
It is important to monitor this information even if you do not prepare returns or only prepare a small number of returns.
If there is no data shown, less than 50 returns have been processed with your PTIN.
To access “Returns Filed per PTIN” information, follow these steps:
- Visit http://www.irs.gov/ptin and log into your PTIN account.
- From the Main Menu, find “Additional Activities.”
- Under Additional Activities, select “View Returns Filed Per PTIN.”
- A chart labeled Returns Per PTIN should appear.
- A count of individual income tax returns filed and processed in the current year will be displayed.
This data is updated weekly and includes only Form 1040 series returns processed through the specified date.
If a minimum of 50 returns have been processed with your PTIN in the current calendar year, a chart will display with your numbers.
If the number is substantially higher than the number of tax returns you’ve prepared and you suspect possible misuse of your PTIN, complete Form 14157 Return Preparer Complaint.
If the number is substantially lower than the number of tax returns you’ve prepared, you need to verify that you are entering your PTIN correctly on returns. The most common cause of this problem is the entry of an incorrect PTIN during tax preparation software set up.