Tax professionals are increasingly targets of cybercriminals seeking access to client data. Criminals use the stolen information to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds. Be prepared to protect your clients and yourself by taking a few critical steps.
Should you experience a data compromise, there are certain basic steps you should take. For a comprehensive list of security actions, consult a security professional. Also see Data Theft Information for Tax Professionals on IRS.gov.
Preliminary steps include:
Contact the IRS and law enforcement:
Contact states in which you prepare state returns:
Contact clients and other services:
The IRS reminds tax professionals that toll-free assisters cannot accept third-party notification of tax-related identity theft. Clients should file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, only if their electronic return is rejected as a duplicate or they are directed to do so.
This tax tip is one in a series of special security tax tips intended to raise awareness for tax professionals. The “Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself” campaign is an initiative of the Security Summit. The Security Summit is a joint project by the IRS, states and the tax community to combat identity theft. Due to the sensitive client data held by tax professionals, cybercriminals increasingly are targeting the tax preparation community.
Share this tip on social media — What to Do If You Suffer a Data Breach or Other Security Incident. http://go.usa.gov/x9ycc#IRS