Tax Professionals Tax Security was the issue at the Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit, as partners warned tax professionals that savvy cyber criminals target IRS issued identification numbers to help impersonate practitioners as well as taxpayers. To help protect against this threat used on the Dark Web, the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry reminded practitioners that they must maintain, monitor and protect their Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) as well as keep tabs on their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) and Centralized Authorization File (CAF) numbers.
Tax Professionals Tax Security has been a constant and ongoing education at the IRS, as this is the sixth in a series called “Protect your Clients: Protect Yourself: Tax Security 101.” The Security Summit awareness campaign is intended to provide tax professionals with the basic information they need to better protect taxpayer data and to help prevent the filing of fraudulent returns.
Although the Security Summit-a partnership between the IRS, states and the private sector tax community-is making progress against tax related identity theft, cyber criminals continue to evolve, and data theft at tax professionals offices is on the rise. Thieves use stolen data from tax practitioners to create fraudulent returns that are harder to detect.
Tax Professionals Tax Security can be maintained by doing the following procedures. Maintaining EFINs. Once a tax professional has completed the EFIN application process and received an EFIN, it is important that they keep their account up to date at all times. This includes a review of the e-file application periodically. Ensuring that proper individuals are identified on the application and updating as necessary.
Monitoring your EFINs, PTINs and CAFs. Tax Professionals can obtain a weekly report of the number of tax returns filed with their EFIN and PTIN. For PTIN holders, only those preparers who are attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents or Annual Filing Season Program participants and who file 50 or more returns may obtain PTIN information.