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IRS Security Checklist #5: Create a Data Theft Recovery Plan

CPA Practice Advisor

Tax professionals are being advised by the IRS that they should report data theft immediately and follow an established process for helping the IRS protect their clients.

If notified promptly, the IRS can help stop fraudulent tax returns from being filed in clients’ names, thereby avoiding refund delays and other problems for the affected tax professional. But this action requires the cooperation of the tax professional with the IRS.

The IRS, state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry are calling on all tax professionals to pause this summer and review their security measures and make appropriate changes. Acting as the Security Summit, the partners created a special “Taxes-Security-Together” checklist to help tax professionals with this review. Fraudulent returns using stolen tax data are harder to detect.

“Our objective is to get every tax professional to stop and think about client data security. The ‘Taxes-Security-Together’ Checklist is intended as a starting point, spelling out the basic steps necessary to start a security review,” said Chuck Rettig, IRS Commissioner. “Practitioners are the first line of defense against organized criminal syndicates running these identity theft scams. Despite our progress, this is no time to let down our guard in the tax community. We need your help.”


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