Tax Preparers are among some of the most targeted professionals when it comes to “identity thieves.” The amount of client information that you have access to is why you must take extra precautions to protect your clients’ personal data.
Per the IRS: “Their tactics: using email, the phone, or other means to trick you into giving up computer passwords, e-Services passwords, to steal your EFINs or CAF numbers or even to take remote control of your entire computer system.”
“Protecting client data also is the law. Federal Trade Commission regulations require professional tax preparers to create and enact security plans to protect client data. Review IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer DataPDF, for details and security recommendations. Also, see IRS Publication 5293, Data Theft Resource Guide for Tax ProfessionalsPDF, for a roundup of IRS.gov information.”
“That is why the Security Summit — the unprecedented partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies, and the private-sector tax industry — came together to form a united and coordinated front against this common enemy. And, that’s why the Summit partners — through the “Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself” awareness campaign — are asking tax professionals nationwide to join this effort.”
“Enrolled agents and Annual Filing Season Program participants can now earn CE credit for programs covering data security and identity theft topics. Courses focused on enhancing tax professional awareness of protecting client data, including review of Publications 4556 or 4524 safeguards can qualify for continuing education in the federal tax law category. IRS recognized CE programs previously only included those courses that covered federal tax preparation, federal tax updates, ethics, and representation topics.”
To read more on this topic or see where this information came from visiting the links below.
Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself | CE Credits for Data Security & Identity Theft Topics
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Quotated paragraphs above come directly from www.irs.gov.