Security Enhancements/Tips to Protect You and Your Clients This Tax Season

Practice Management be mindful of security

At Intuit®, we work hard to safeguard our products, your information and your clients’ information. This includes reporting suspicious patterns and activity, and also working closely with the IRS, states and the profession to create additional, industry-wide standards and solutions. It also means partnering with you to mitigate risk for you and your clients.

That’s why for tax year 2015, we’ve announced multiple security enhancements across our professional tax products to further improve how tax preparer and taxpayer information are authenticated. We also want to provide you with tips to help you protect yourself, your clients and your office in the ongoing fight against fraud.

Security Enhancements Available in Intuit Professional Tax Products:

  • Multi-factor authentication: Now, when you access your Intuit Tax Online, ProSeries or Lacerte account for the first time or from a new device, you will automatically be sent a unique, six-digit code to your pre-designated, trusted device to be used in combination with your password to access your account. You can have peace of mind knowing that your account has multiple levels of authorization required to access sensitive data.
  • Efile Identification Number requirements: Intuit requires that all Electronic Return Originators (EROs) possess IRS-issued efile Identification Numbers (EFIN) before e-filing. New customers must have IRS documentation of EFIN registration on file before they can e-ile using our professional tax products. In addition, we will proactively notify tax preparers who use our professional tax software when it appears their EFIN may have been compromised, so that they can reinstate their EFIN with the IRS. You can also learn more about how we’ve implemented new security to help fight EFIN fraud.

Prevention is the first line of defense against tax fraud! Here are some tips to ensure you and your clients are protected:

  • Shred financial records: Shred all documents that include sensitive client information before throwing it away.
  • Restrict access to client files and computers: All computers with sensitive client records should be protected with a strong password. Create a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t use passwords that are generic and easy to guess, like your firm name, the word “password” or a numeric sequence. Paper files should be kept locked and access restricted.
  • Beware of phishing scams: Criminals use fraudulent emails and create fake websites to lure unsuspecting users into revealing private account information, including your EFIN. Be suspicious of unsolicited emails that ask for confidential or sensitive information and include a link to a website. Mouse over the link, look at the site’s address and make certain that it appears legitimate before clicking. Intuit posts notices for phishing emails on the Intuit Online Security Center.
  • Install or update anti-virus software on computers: Use the latest version of your web browser. Install security patches and software updates as soon as they are available.
  • Educate clients: Help educate clients about what they can do to protect themselves online, including protecting their computer and mobile device, creating strong passwords, and being aware of phishing scams.