Tax preparers who experience a data theft should report it immediately and should also follow an established process to protect their clients. If notified timely, the IRS can help stop fraudulent tax returns from being filed in taxpayers’ names.
When a tax professional experiences a data compromise, there are certain basic steps they should take. They should take these steps whether the compromise is caused by cybercriminals, theft or accident. These steps include:
Contact the IRS and law enforcement:
Contact states in which the tax professional prepares state returns:
The IRS and its partners in the Security Summit are reminding preparers about reporting a data theft as part of the Tax Security 101 awareness initiative. The goal is 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.
Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data
Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals
Publication 5293, Data Security Resource Guide for Tax Professionals
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