July 14, 2016
The IRS has begun a “Protect Your Clients: Protect Yourself” campaign that is intended to raise awareness among tax preparers on what their responsibilities are and what common sense steps they can take to protect their business computer systems and clients from identity theft.
In recognition of the increased risk to tax preparers, this new effort is an expansion of the IRS Security Summit’s Taxes.Security.Together campaign. Since tax preparers are increasingly becoming the targets of cybercriminals in their efforts to obtain individuals’ personal and tax return information, it is essential that they ensure they are taking steps to protect their clients’ data. Cybercriminals are also increasing their efforts to take over tax preparers’ computer systems using various tactics such as phishing emails.
The IRS has begun to post new information to help tax preparers get started:
The IRS also urges preparers to sign up for e-News for Tax Professionals, the IRS Tax Pro Twitter Account and the Return Preparer Office’s Facebook page to stay informed about this campaign and to remain up-to-date on latest scams in general.
See IRS News Release 2016-96 (IRS, Partners Warn Tax Preparers of Data Theft Risks; Launch New Campaign to Increase Awareness) for further details.