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

NATIONAL TAX SECURITY AWARENESS WEEK NO. 1: ONLINE SECURITY – SEVEN STEPS FOR SAFETY

NSTPSecurity

IR-2017-193, Nov. 27, 2017 During the online holiday shopping season, the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry remind people to be vigilant with their personal information. While shopping for gifts, criminals are shopping for credit card numbers, financial account information, Social Security numbers and other sensitive data that could help them file a fraudulent tax return. Anyone who has an online presence should take a few simple steps that could go a long way to protecting their identity and personal information. The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax community, partners in the Security Summit, are marking “National Tax Security Awareness Week”, Nov. 27-Dec.1, with a series of reminders to taxpayers and tax professionals. In part one, the topic is online security. Cybercriminals seek to turn stolen data into quick cash, either by draining financial accounts, charging credit cards, creating new credit accounts or even using stolen identities to file a fraudulent tax return for a refund. Here are seven steps to help with online safety and protecting tax returns and refunds in 2018: Shop at familiar online retailers. Generally, sites using the “s” designation in “https” at the start of the URL are secure. Look … Read More

RPO MESSAGE REGARDING DATA SECURITY

NSTPSecurity

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 … Read More

IRS KICKS OFF NATIONAL TAX SECURITY AWARENESS WEEK

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS)

Data Protection Tips to Help Taxpayers, Businesses The IRS is partnering with state tax agencies, the tax industry and groups across the country to host the second annual National Tax Security Awareness Week. The goal is to encourage all taxpayers to take steps to protect their tax data and identities. This week begins Monday, November 27 and coincides with two annual events when criminals are especially active – the online holiday shopping season and the 2018 tax filing season. With the number of data breaches at record levels, these are issues that pose a threat to individuals and businesses. The IRS will offer simple steps taxpayers can take to protect themselves from cybercriminals. This event is part of the Security Summit, part of ongoing collaborative effort to combat tax-related identity theft. During National Tax Security Awareness Week, the IRS will focus on key steps people can follow to protect their tax data: Keep personal data safe. Be vigilant with personal information. While taxpayers are shopping for gifts, criminals are shopping for sensitive data including credit cards, financial accounts, and Social Security numbers. Taxpayers should use strong, unique passwords for each online account and avoid routinely carrying a Social Security card. Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi … Read More

PREPARED REMARKS OF JOHN KOSKINEN AT THE SECURITY SUMMIT PRESS BRIEFING JULY 25, 2017

NSTPJohn A. Koskinen, Security

July 25, 2017 Thank you all for joining us. I’m delighted to have a chance to talk with you while I’m here in Dallas for the IRS’s Nationwide Tax Forum. Today I want to provide an update on the progress we’re making in protecting taxpayers and their information from the crime of identity theft. I also want to talk about the steps we’re taking to get taxpayers and tax professionals to help us in this battle. In fact, protecting against identity theft and raising security awareness is one of the key topics being discussed with tax professionals at our tax forum here in Dallas. It will also be the focal point at IRS Tax Forums coming up in the next few weeks in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and San Diego. Just a few years ago, identity theft exploded and threatened to overwhelm the nation’s tax system, affecting the IRS, states and the private sector. While we had been making some inroads against identity theft, we took a critical step in March 2015 when we formed the Security Summit Group. This is an unprecedented partnership that includes the IRS, private-sector tax industry leaders and state tax commissioners. Some of our partners … Read More