This week IRS is beginning a series of emails to tax return preparers regarding the importance of data security. The first email was sent this week. It will be followed by three others in the coming weeks, leading up to the start of the 2018 filing season.


“Why is data security important? *Message 1 of 4 from the IRS Return Preparer Office*


In recent years there has been much talk about data security. You may ask “Why is data security important?” Tax professionals are becoming the number one target for identity thieves. Consider the treasure trove of information you possess. You have sensitive, personal and financial information about your clients, in your files and on your networks. When cybercriminals breach your sytems they gain access to the data of hundreds, if not thousands, of taxpayers. They use this stolen information to file fraudulent tax returns, commit financial crimes, and create financial havoc for your clients. Remember, as a tax preparer you are subject to federal laws that require safeguarding of client records and information.


This is National Tax Security Awareness Wee, hosted by the IRS, state tax agencies, and the tax industry. You can read more about the campaign on IRS.gov.keyword:IR-2017-190.


Please watch for three additional emails from us about data security in the weeks ahead, leading up to the start of the 2018 filing season.


Carol A. Campbell

Director, IRS Return Preparer Office