Tax Tip 2022-180: Filing season readiness for tax pros: review data safeguards
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Issue Number: Tax Tip 2022-180
Filing season readiness for tax pros: review data safeguards
As tax professionals begin preparing for the upcoming filing season, reviewing their security measures should be at the top of their to-do list. The Taxes-Security-Together Checklist can help tax them identify the basic steps they should take to safeguard their clients and their business.
Here are some of the recommended safety measures.
Have security and data theft plans
Use multi-factor authentication to protect tax accounts
Use virtual private networks to protect remote sites
Failure to use a VPN for remote communication can allow an attacker to eavesdrop on network communications.
Tax professionals should consult cybersecurity experts whenever possible. Practitioners can also search for “best VPNs” to find a legitimate vendor, or major technology sites often provide lists of top services. They should never click on a “pop-up” advertisement for a security product. Those generally are scams.
Avoid phishing scams and attempts to steal EFINs
Scam emails can target tax pros by seeking EFIN information. One scam example says it’s from “IRS Tax E-Filing” and has the subject line “Verifying EFIN before e-filing.”
Tax pros should not take any of the steps outlined in these types of email, especially responding to the email.
Those who receive a scam email should save it as a file and then send it as an attachment to [email protected]“>[email protected]. They also should notify the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the IRS impersonation scam. Both TIGTA and the IRS Criminal Investigation division are aware of spear phishing scams targeting tax preparers.
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