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

Tax Security 2.0 – A ‘Taxes-Security-Together’ Checklist – Step 3

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS)

Tax Security 2.0 – A ‘Taxes-Security-Together’ Checklist - Step 3

Tax Security 2.0 – A ‘Taxes-Security-Together’ Checklist – Step 3 The IRS, states and tax industry partners today warned tax professionals to beware of the continuing threat of phishing emails, which remain the most common tactic used by cybercriminals to steal sensitive 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 this effort, the Summit partners prepared a special “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist as a starting point. “You can take all the cybersecurity steps in the world, but tax professionals and others in the business world should remember you are only as safe as your least educated employee,” said Chuck Rettig, IRS Commissioner. “Cybercriminals use phishing emails and malware to gain control of computer systems or to steal usernames and passwords. These can provide a treasure trove of information that can lead to tax-related identity theft.” Educating personnel on the dangers of phishing emails is the third item on the “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist. This summer awareness initiative also has covered deploying the “Security Six” basic steps to protect computers and email as well as creating a data security plan. Although the Security Summit — … 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

IRS Seeks Applications for ETAAC (Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee)

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Security

IRS Seeks Applications for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee

Are you interested in getting more involved with the internal processes of the IRS? The Internal Revenue Service is seeking qualified applicants for nomination to the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC). Applications will be accepted through May 29, 2019. The ETAAC provides an organized public forum for discussion of issues in electronic tax administration, such as prevention of identity theft and refund fraud. ETAAC supports the overriding goal that paperless filing is the preferred and most convenient method of filing tax and information returns. ETAAC members work closely with the Security Summit, a joint effort of the IRS, state tax administrators and the tax industry to fight electronic fraud. The IRS is looking for up to 10 qualified individuals who will serve three-year terms beginning in September 2019. Applicants should have experience in such areas as state tax administration, cybersecurity and information security, tax software development, tax preparation, payroll and tax financial product processing, systems management and improvement and implementation of customer service initiatives. The IRS also encourages representatives from consumer groups with an interest in tax issues to apply. Nominations of qualified individuals may be made by letter and received from organizations or the individuals themselves. Applicants should … Read More

IRS Annual List of Most Prevalent Tax Scams

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Scams

IRS Kicks Off Annual List of Most Prevalent Tax Scams

Kicking off the annual “Dirty Dozen” list of the most prevalent tax scams, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers of the ongoing threat of internet phishing scams that lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft. The IRS warns taxpayers, businesses and tax professionals to be alert for a continuing surge of fake emails, text messages, websites and social media attempts to steal personal information. These attacks tend to increase during tax season and remain a major danger of identity theft. To help protect taxpayers against these and other threats, the IRS highlights one scam on 12 consecutive week days to help raise awareness. Phishing schemes are the first of the 2019 “Dirty Dozen” most prevalent tax scams. “Taxpayers should be on constant guard for these phishing schemes, which can be tricky and cleverly disguised to look like it’s the IRS,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Watch out for emails and other scams posing as the IRS, promising a big refund or personally threatening people. Don’t open attachments and click on links in emails. Don’t fall victim to phishing or other common scams.” The IRS also urges taxpayers to learn how to protect themselves by reviewing safety tips prepared by … Read More

SECURITY SUMMIT URGES TAX PROS TO PROTECT THEIR IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS: EFINS, PTINS AND CAF NUMBERS

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Tax Professionals

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry is urging tax practitioners to maintain and monitor their Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) and Centralized Authorization File (CAF) numbers to help safeguard taxpayer data. Cybercriminals sometimes post stolen EFINs, PTINs and CAF numbers on the Dark Web as a crime kit for identity thieves who can then file fraudulent tax returns. EFINs are necessary for tax professionals or their firms to file client returns electronically. Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) are issued to those who, for a fee, prepare tax returns or claims for refund. CAF numbers are issued when tax practitioners or their firms file a request for third-party access to client files. To assist tax professionals, the IRS created a new video and web page – How to Maintain, Monitor and Protect Your EFIN. These offer tips to practitioners. Tax professionals should update their EFIN application within 30 days of any change, including if there are new personnel, telephone numbers, addresses or email addresses. Keeping the application up-to-date means any correspondence from the IRS will go to the correct person and the correct address. EFINs can only be obtained from the IRS. They are not transferable should a business be sold. Also, … Read More