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Safeguarding Taxpayer Data – Secure Your Office

Tax professionals can help protect taxpayer data by looking around their own offices. It’s more important than ever that tax professionals take aggressive steps to protect taxpayer information. Securing office space is as important as securing computers.

In assessing how secure your office is, consider these questions:

Employers and Coverage Providers: 11 Facts About Health Care Information Forms

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies, self-insured companies, and large businesses and businesses that provide health insurance to their employees must submit information returns to the IRS and individuals reporting on health coverage. 

Taxpayers can use the information on these forms when they file their tax returns to verify the months that they had minimum essential coverage and determine if they satisfied the individual shared responsibility provision of the health care law. The IRS will use the information on the statements to verify the months of the individual’s coverage.

Here is some information about the types of forms, the purpose of each, and noteworthy dates

Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

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.