IRS Awareness Campaign for the Summer 2023 focuses on data theft signs and the importance of staying alert against new and ongoing threats of tax-related identity in order to protect the taxpayer and the tax professional. Identity thieves are in a constant hunt for client tax information in order to complete their data theft crimes.
Data theft Warning Signs
Tax professionals and taxpayers should be on the lookout for these critical warning signs:
- Taxpayer receives notice that an IRS online account was created without their consent
- Someone accessed a taxpayer’s IRS online account without their knowledge
- The IRS disabled a taxpayer’s online account
- A taxpayer receives a tax transcript they didn’t request
- Balance due or other notices from the IRS are received that are not correct based on a tax return filed
- Taxpayer responds to calls or emails the tax professional didn’t make
- Taxpayer receives refunds without filing a tax return
Tax professionals should also watch for these red flags when their business experiences:
- Slow or unexpected computer or network responsiveness such as: software or actions take longer to process than usual.
- Computer cursor moves or changes numbers without touching the mouse or keyboard.
- Unexpectedly being locked out of a network or computer.
- Client tax returns being rejected because their Social Security number was already used on another return.
- IRS authentication letters (5071C, 6331C, 4883C, 5747C) being received even though a tax return hasn’t been filed.
Warning signs of data theft scams
Tax professionals can protect themselves or their organization by being aware of these scams and looking for warning signs like:
- An unexpected email or text claiming to come from a known or trusted source such as a colleague, bank, credit card company, cloud storage provider, tax software provider or even the IRS and other government agencies.
- A false narrative often with an urgent tone urging the receiver to open a link or attachment.
- An email address, number or link that’s misspelled or has a different domain name or URL (irs.com vs. IRS.gov).
KEEP YOUR IDENTITY SAFE
A CPA can be instrumental to individual and corporate taxpayers in the prevention of data theft. A CPA can assist in the development and implementation of data theft prevention programs to assist in the protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.
Can your existing security systems provide confidentiality? Do they have integrity? Can they prevent a disruption?
Is your CPA helping and protecting you and your business from data theft ©