On November 19, 2015, the IRS announced the newest campaign to help protect taxpayer information, “Taxes. Security. Together.” The campaign is a public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging taxpayers to protect personal and financial data. This effort comes as a result of the recent Security Summit which was the collaboration of the IRS, states, and members of the tax industry.
The campaign will complement the IRS’s own efforts to protect personal data by providing taxpayers with information about how they can protect their own sensitive information. Through April 2016, Taxpayers should expect to see YouTube videos, weekly tax tips, and local events across the county. A new tax tip will be published each Monday through the start of the tax season in January.
Within the announcement, the IRS provided some simple efforts for taxpayers to protect data:
• Utilize security software and other efforts to protect computes. This includes firewalls, anti-virus protection, file encryption, and strong passwords
• Be aware of email and phone scams. Taxpayers should be aware of the various efforts identity thieves are using to steal names, Social Security numbers, passwords, credit card numbers and bank information. The IRS has recently warned of emails, calls and text message. For our blog regarding these scams, see IRS Warns of Tax Scams, available at https://hvwtaxandbusinesslaw.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/irs-warns-of-tax-scams/
• Protect personal information: The IRS reminds taxpayers not to routinely carry Social Security cards and the dispose of old tax returns or client copies provided by preparers. Taxpayers should consider checking credit reports and Social Security Administration accounts to monitor for fraudulent activity.
For additional information about the announcements following the Security Summit, see our previous blog post, New Efforts by the IRS to Detect Identity Theft, available at https://hvwtaxandbusinesslaw.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/new-efforts-by-the-irs-to-detect-identity-theft/
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