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

Identity Theft: Here’s What to Look for and What to Do When It Happens

NSTPIdentity Theft, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Tax-Related Identity Theft: What to Look for and What to Do

Tax-related identity theft occurs when a thief uses someone’s stolen Social Security number to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. The victim may be unaware that this has happened until they e-file their return. Even before the victim files their return, the IRS may send the taxpayer a letter saying the agency identified a suspicious return using the stolen SSN. Here are some things people should know about identity theft, including warning signs and steps to take after identity theft occurs. Warning signs that a theft occurs Taxpayers should be alert to possible tax-related identity theft if they are contacted by the IRS or their tax preparer about: More than one tax return being filed using the taxpayer’s SSN. Additional tax owed. A refund offset. Collection actions taken against the taxpayer for a year when they did not file a tax return. IRS records indicating they received wages or other income from an employer for whom the taxpayer did not work. Taxpayers who suspect they are a victim of ID theft should continue to pay their taxes and file their tax return, even if they must do so on paper. Steps to take if someone becomes a … Read More

IRS AND FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) INITIATIVE TO FIGHT ID THEFT

NSTPIdentity Theft, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The IRS now will now allow consumers to electronically report identity theft through the Federal Trade Commission’s IdentityTheft.gov website. Under the new FTC-IRS initiative, IdentityTheft.gov is the first and the only place where consumers can submit an IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, electronically. This new e-effort should make it easier for consumers to report tax-related identity theft and to receive help in recovering. Previously, to report a stolen identity that could be used to file a fake tax return and claim a fraudulent refund, a victim had to file a paper Form 14039. The IRS does offer a fillable version on the IRS website, that taxpayers can complete online, print and then mail to the tax agency. Unfortunately, however, while potential tax identity theft victims are filing paper forms by mail, the crooks are already/still online doing their damage electronically. Now, however, the IRS-FTC partnership means that identity theft victims can fight back on the same e-field to report identity theft. e-Reporting advantages: Once the Form 14039 is submitted electronically on the FTC site, that federal agency then will electronically transfer the identity theft form, but not the taxpayer’s return which is affected, to the IRS. Here’s how it works: IdentityTheft.gov will ask … Read More