The Security Summit was formed in conjunction with the IRS in 2015 to fight against identity theft. “The IRS and the Security Summit partners continue to advance their shared efforts to protect the federal and state tax systems from identity thieves,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “As we’ve increased our defenses, cyberthieves increasingly turn to tax professionals, especially smaller operations, to look for security vulnerabilities. This is a critical link in protecting sensitive taxpayer information. By taking some basic security steps, tax pros help protect against the relentless efforts of identity thieves.”
The annual IRS Nationwide Tax Forums have been held virtually again in 2022. The last live streamed webinar, “Helping You and Your Clients Steer Clear of Fraud and Scams,” presented by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, will be held on August 2 at 11 AM Eastern Time. For more information and to register, visit www.IRSTaxForum.com.
Tax professionals are encouraged to advise clients to protect themselves from identity theft by acquiring an Identity Protection PIN. Taxpayers must obtain their own IP PINs. An Identity Protection PIN prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your Social Security number,” said Chuck Rettig, IRS commissioner. “We’ve now made the IP PIN available to anyone who can verify their identity. This is a free way for taxpayers to protect themselves, but we need the help of tax professionals to make sure more people know about it.”
Vital information about IP PINs:
An IP PIN is valid for one calendar year.
A new IP PIN is generated each year for your account.
Logging back into the Get an IP PIN tool, will display your current IP PIN.
An IP PIN must be used when filing any federal tax returns during the year including prior year returns.
Tax professionals continue to be prime targets of criminal syndicates that are both well-funded and tech- and tax-savvy. These scammers often trick or hack their way into tax professionals’ computer systems to access client data. Even when client data is stored in a secure cloud, lack of strong authentication can make this information vulnerable. The most important security control is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). MFA should be implemented for all remote access to resources. Stolen credentials become useless if the authentication device isn’t available.
Data thieves 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. Many times, basic tax preparer or taxpayer information is sold on the dark web so fraudsters can try filing fraudulent tax returns. Over the past seven years, The Security Summit’s efforts have made great inroads against tax-related identity theft which has dramatically reduced confirmed identity theft returns, which in turn, has saved billions in tax dollars’ savings.
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