In Pursuit of Profit
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To steal your tax practitioners’ client data so they can file fraudulent tax returns that better impersonate their victims.
To trick you into giving up computer passwords, e-Services passwords, to steal your EFINs or CAF numbers or even to take remote control of your entire computer system.
The crime fighters:
No one can fight this crime alone. It takes all of us, working together. That is why the Security Summit - the unprecedented partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies, and the private-sector tax industry - came together to form a united and coordinated front against this common enemy. And, that’s why the Summit partners are asking tax professionals nationwide to join this effort.
The Security Summit created the “Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself” campaign to raise awareness among tax professionals about their legal obligation to protect taxpayer data as well as highlight security threats they face from identity thieves.
These accomplishments had real and substantial impact on curbing stolen identity refund fraud since 2015:
New Protections for Business Returns:
The Summit partners also are putting an increased emphasis on identity theft protections for business returns in the Form 1120 and 1041 series. The IRS will be asking tax professionals to gather more information on their business clients. The data being collected assists the IRS in authenticating that the tax return being submitted is actually a legitimate return filing and not an identity theft return.
Some of the new questions people may be asked to provide when filing their business, trust or estate client returns include:
Businesses Should Recognize Identity Theft Signs:
As with fraudulent individual returns, there are certain signs that may indicate identity theft. Business, partnerships and estate and trust filers should be alert to potential identity theft and contact the IRS if they experience any of these issues:
It is important to know that tax and payroll professionals and other entities that hold personally identifiable information are being targeted by cyber-criminals who then impersonate clients to steal additional sensitive information from their files. The best tax professionals and payroll companies will continue to increase security with due diligence steps regarding email requests for personal information and watch out for phishing emails.
What to Do After a Tax Professional Data Compromise (video)