The IRS and its Security Summit partners announced the start of “National Tax Security Awareness Week.” As part of the Security Summit effort, the IRS, the states and the tax community will share a variety of information throughout the week to educate taxpayers on steps they should take to protect themselves from identity theft and tax scams, as well as protect their valuable financial data in advance of the upcoming filing season.
The week, which runs Dec. 5-9, will feature a series of consumer warnings and tips that will be released daily and featured on the Taxes. Security. Together. web page. The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax community came together in 2015 to combat tax-related identity theft as a coordinated partnership. But, they realized one partner was missing: the taxpayers.
The IRS and its partners will be promoting a range of topics related to computer security and tax scams. This is a good opportunity to remind your clients to:
- Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Make sure the security software is always turned on and can automatically update. Encrypt sensitive files such as tax records you store on your computer. Use strong passwords.
- Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening phone calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations, such as your bank, credit card company and government organizations, including the IRS. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
- Protect your personal data. Don’t routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure. Treat your personal information like you do your cash; don’t leave it lying around.
The Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Pro Center has a number of related articles on fraud and security. Click here for a full list.