IRS Highlights Security Recommendations To Tax Professionals

Tax professionals are key targets of criminal syndicates that are tech-savvy, tax-savvy and well-funded. These scammers either trick or hack their way into tax professionals’ computer systems to access client data. They use stolen data to file fraudulent tax returns that make it more difficult for the IRS and the states to detect because the fraudulent returns use real financial information.

IRS highlighted recommendations will be to:

  • Use multi-factor authentication to protect tax preparation software accounts. All tax software providers now offer multi-factor authentication options, which require more than just a username and password to access accounts. This feature is offered on tax preparation products for both tax professionals and taxpayers. This is a key step to securing sensitive financial data. Multi-factor authentication is in addition to traditional actions such as using anti-virus software, strong password phrases and virtual private networks to protect connections between telework locations and offices – all critical steps for tax pros
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IRS On Security

Using a new “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist, the Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit partners urged tax professionals to review critical security steps to ensure they are fully protecting their computers and email as well as safeguarding sensitive taxpayer data.

The Security Summit partners – the IRS, states and tax industry – urge tax professionals to take time this summer to give their data safeguards a thorough review. To help the tax community, the Summit created a “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist as a starting point for analyzing office data security.

In the first of a five-part weekly series, the initial step on the checklist involves the “Security Six” protections. These steps fall into several major security categories.

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