Tax Security 101: Security Summit urges tax professionals to educate all employees about data security, computing safeguards

Tax Security 101: Security Summit urges tax professionals to educate all employees about data security, computing safeguards

IR-2018-170, Aug. 21, 2018

IR-2018-170, Aug. 21, 2018

WASHINGTON — The IRS and its Security Summit partners today called on tax professionals to step up security education for all office employees, including themselves, to better protect taxpayer data and help prevent fraudulent return filings.
The warning from the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry follows an increase this year in reports of data thefts from tax professionals. The Security Summit partners remind professionals that their clients’ data and their businesses are only as secure as their least informed employee.

WASHINGTON — The IRS and its Security Summit partners today called on tax professionals to step up security education for all office employees, including themselves, to better protect taxpayer data and help prevent fraudulent return filings.
The warning from the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry follows an increase this year in reports of data thefts from tax professionals. The Security Summit partners remind professionals that their clients’ data and their businesses are only as secure as their least informed employee.

This is the seventh in a series called “Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself: Tax Security 101.” The Security Summit awareness campaign is intended to provide tax professionals with the basic information they need to better protect taxpayer data and to help prevent the filing of fraudulent tax returns.

This is the seventh in a series called “Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself: Tax Security 101.” The Security Summit awareness campaign is intended to provide tax professionals with the basic information they need to better protect taxpayer data and to help prevent the filing of fraudulent tax returns.

Although the Security Summit is making progress against tax-related identity theft, cybercriminals continue to evolve and data thefts at tax professionals’ offices are on the rise. Thieves use stolen data from tax practitioners to create fraudulent returns that are harder to detect.

Although the Security Summit is making progress against tax-related identity theft, cybercriminals continue to evolve and data thefts at tax professionals’ offices are on the rise. Thieves use stolen data from tax practitioners to create fraudulent returns that are harder to detect.

The IRS continues to see an increase in the number of data thefts reported by tax professionals. Through Aug. 9, there have been 217 tax professionals reporting data thefts this year; a 30 percent increase from 167 through the same period in 2017.

The IRS continues to see an increase in the number of data thefts reported by tax professionals. Through Aug. 9, there have been 217 tax professionals reporting data thefts this year; a 30 percent increase from 167 through the same period in 2017.

All employees should be aware of the dangers related to phishing emails, especially spear phishing emails. An employee does not have to be a tax preparer to accidentally disclose critical password information or download malware that could infect and impact all office computers and risk the theft of client data.

All employees should be aware of the dangers related to phishing emails, especially spear phishing emails. An employee does not have to be a tax preparer to accidentally disclose critical password information or download malware that could infect and impact all office computers and risk the theft of client data.

All professional tax return preparers must adhere to the “Safeguards Rule” set out by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and administered by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC sets out a series of suggested areas to address, including for employee management and training. The FTC suggests following this list, and the IRS has added some updates specifically for tax professionals:

All professional tax return preparers must adhere to the “Safeguards Rule” set out by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and administered by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC sets out a series of suggested areas to address, including for employee management and training. The FTC suggests following this list, and the IRS has added some updates specifically for tax professionals:

All employees within a tax professional’s office should familiarize themselves with FTC regulations and IRS publications and websites that will help increase security awareness.

All employees within a tax professional’s office should familiarize themselves with FTC regulations and IRS publications and websites that will help increase security awareness.

To improve data security awareness by all tax professionals, the IRS will host a webinar on Sept. 26, 2018. The focus will be on the same topics as this series: “Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself: Tax Security 101.” Although tax preparers will be eligible for one CPE credit, the IRS welcomes tax professionals and their employees. Protecting taxpayer information takes everyone working together.

To improve data security awareness by all tax professionals, the IRS will host a webinar on Sept. 26, 2018. The focus will be on the same topics as this series: “Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself: Tax Security 101.” Although tax preparers will be eligible for one CPE credit, the IRS welcomes tax professionals and their employees. Protecting taxpayer information takes everyone working together.

The Security Summit reminds all professional tax preparers that they must have a written data security plan as required by the Federal Trade Commission and its Safeguards Rule. They can get help with security recommendations by reviewing the recently revised IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, and Small Business Information Security: the Fundamentals by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Security Summit reminds all professional tax preparers that they must have a written data security plan as required by the Federal Trade Commission and its Safeguards Rule. They can get help with security recommendations by reviewing the recently revised IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, and Small Business Information Security: the Fundamentals by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Publication 5293, Data Security Resource Guide for Tax Professionals, provides a compilation of data-theft information available on IRS.gov. Also, tax pros should stay connected to the IRS through subscriptions to e-News for Tax Professionals, QuickAlerts and Social Media.
 

Publication 5293, Data Security Resource Guide for Tax Professionals, provides a compilation of data-theft information available on IRS.gov. Also, tax pros should stay connected to the IRS through subscriptions to e-News for Tax Professionals, QuickAlerts and Social Media.
 

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