Tax professionals increasingly are targeted by cybercriminals seeking to steal sensitive client data. Thieves use stolen information to file fraudulent tax returns. These criminals are based both here and abroad. They are highly sophisticated, well-funded and technologically adept. Because of this, tax professionals must take strong measures to protect themselves and their clients.
This tip is part of the “Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself” campaign. The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness among tax professionals about their legal obligation to protect taxpayer data and to highlight the security risks posed by identity thieves. It is an initiative of the Security Summit, a joint project by the IRS, states and the tax community to combat identity theft. Because of the sensitive client data held by tax professionals, cybercriminals increasingly are targeting the tax preparation community.
Crooks use many methods, including emails and phone calls, to trick tax preparers. Thieves convince preparers into giving up passwords and other personal data. The criminals can even take remote control of someone’s computer system.
To find out more about how they can fight cybercriminals, tax preparers can check out these six resources on IRS.gov.