Keep Your SSN Safe: Accessing a vulnerable Social Security Number can result in a tax crime. Throughout the year and especially during tax season, practice safe SSN habits by shredding paperwork with the SSN, and storing important cards in a secure location.
Consider Providing Your Customers With Identity Theft Protection: You can avoid most data breaches and safeguard your clients from tax identity theft by taking the necessary precautions. Because some attacks are sophisticated, you may want to consider purchasing cyber insurance to cover any case in the event of a breach.
Watch Your EFIN & PTIN Activity Closely
Your EFIN or PTIN numbers may be used by identity thieves to file fake returns. Keep track of any activity that occurs under your EFIN or PTIN to spot this type of scam early on. Each time you file a return, you should receive daily notifications and acknowledgments, and the IRS will also post the number of returns filed using your EFIN each week.
The IRS also sends out weekly PTIN data to participants in the yearly filing season program who submit more than 50 returns per year. If the numbers in these reports ever deviate from the actual number of returns your practice has submitted, contact the IRS e-help line immediately.
Learn How To Spot Phishing Scams
Data breaches are most commonly caused by phishing emails. As a result, it is vital that you and your team know how to recognize phishing email scams. Scammers tend to target preparers such as the IRS, a tax company, a client, or even a colleague.
It’s good to get in the habit of checking and examining the domain in the email address in case the email seems off. Phishing schemes, for example, frequently create urgent scenarios in which you risk losing your account or facing legal action if you don’t click on the link right away. Installing malware protection on your computer would provide further protection and safety.
How Simple Is Qualifying?
Considering that the Fresh Start Program is a federal program, you would think meeting the qualifications may be very difficult, but really, it’s a lot simpler and quicker than you think. Take the following steps in order to find out if you are eligible in as little as 3 minutes.
- Fill out some basic information about yourself and your back taxes here.
- Have a representative reach out to you to discuss your eligibility.
- Go through the enrollment process and finally reduce or eliminate your tax liabilities.