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Safeguarding Taxpayer Data – How to Get Started

Tax professionals must safeguard taxpayer data by law. It is also critical to tax preparers’ business success. Protect your clients and yourself by taking a few common sense steps.

You can seek advice from security consultants or insurance companies. IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, also offers tips on how to get started.

These best practices include:

IRS Offers Tips on Validating Your Identity on Your Tax Return

You should always keep a copy of your tax return. It is even more important for 2017, as the Internal Revenue Service moves to strengthen its e-signature validation process.

You must use your 2015 adjusted gross income or your 2015 self-select PIN to validate your identity on your federal electronic tax return this tax season. The electronic filing PIN is no longer available as an option.

The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry – partners in combating identity theft -ask for your help in their efforts. Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference.

That’s why we launched a public awareness campaign that we call “Taxes. Security. Together.” We’ve also launched a series of security awareness tips that can help protect you from cybercriminals.

Safeguarding Taxpayer Data – Avoid Scams

Tax return preparers should beware of various ruses and schemes used by cybercriminals. These scams allow criminals to gain access to passwords or computer systems which allows them to steal taxpayer data. Many schemes are currently making the rounds.

Protect your clients and yourself from these ongoing and increasingly sophisticated efforts to steal data.

How serious is this threat? Here are a few examples of criminal scams and schemes intent on stealing your information from just the past few months:

IRS Strengthens Web Tool Access, Offers Tips for Use

As part of a wider effort to protect taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service took steps this year to strengthen access to several IRS.gov applications, including adding requirements for the use of security codes texted to mobile phones to access certain tools.

This security code process is part of a two-factor or two-step authentication process that is becoming increasingly commonplace, especially in the social media, financial and tax areas. The two steps to access accounts are your credentials (username and password) plus a security code often sent as a text.

The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry – partners in combating identity theft - ask for your help in their efforts. Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference.

That’s why we launched a public awareness campaign that we call “Taxes. Security. Together.” We’ve also launched a series of security awareness tips that can help protect you from cybercriminals.

Avoid Identity Theft; Learn How to Recognize Phishing Scams

Simply ask for it. That’s the easiest way for an identity thief to steal your personal information.

Each day, people fall victim to phishing scams through emails, texts or phone calls and mistakenly turn over important data. In turn, cybercriminals try to use that data to file fraudulent tax returns or commit other crimes.

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry -- all partners in the fight against identity theft -- urge you to learn to recognize and avoid phishing scams.

We need your help in the fight against identity theft. That’s why, as part of the Security Summit effort, we launched a public awareness campaign that we call Taxes. Security. Together. We’ve launched a series of security awareness tips that can help protect you from cybercriminals.

IRS, Partners Urge Taxpayers to Beware of IRS Impersonations and Tax Scams

If you get a call from the “IRS” threatening you with lawsuits or jail unless you pay up immediately … Guess what? It’s a scam.

IRS impersonation and tax scams by phone, email, postal mail and text are ongoing. Criminals use more  and more creative ploys to trick taxpayers and tax preparers. Don’t be a victim.

The IRS, state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry are asking for your help in the effort to combat identity theft and fraudulent returns. Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference.

That’s why for the second year in a row, we launched a public awareness campaign that we call “Taxes. Security. Together.” And, we’ve launched a series of security awareness tips that can help protect you from cybercriminals.

IRS Reminds Business Owners of New W-2 Filing Deadline

In October 2016, the IRS issued a reminder to employers and small-business owners of a new January 31 deadline for submitting Forms W-2 and certain Forms 1099-MISC to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The accelerated deadline, which was enacted as part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act passed in late 2015, is designed to help the IRS spot refund fraud and issue refunds more quickly.

The filing deadline covers employer copies of Forms W-2 and Forms 1099-MISC that report nonemployee compensation, such as payments to independent contractors. Employers previously had until the end of February (if filing by paper) or March (if filing electronically) to submit their forms to the SSA.