New Efforts by the IRS to Detect Identity Theft

The IRS is continuing to make efforts to limit taxpayer victimization from tax scams or identity theft. This year the IRS worked with tax preparers and state governments to identify ways to prevent identity theft related to tax filings. In a recent news release, the IRS announced that following a Security Summit, the IRS and leaders in the tax preparation industry developed new methods for protecting taxpayers.

These methods include the development of 20 data components that will be submitted with a tax return transmission. The IRS will now review for improper or repetitive use of IP addresses and review computer device identification data. Additionally, the IRS identified that it will review the time it took to complete the tax return as a way to detect mechanized fraud. Finally, there will be metadata attached to the transmission that the IRS stated will be used to detect identity theft related fraud.

As part of the Security Summit, major tax preparer software companies, H&R Block, Intuit, TaxHawk, and TaxSlayer all indicated a commitment to protect taxpayer data for the upcoming tax season. For taxpayers using tax preparation software from these companies, they will likely see additional security questions and device recognition upon logging in. These features will be similar to those used in online banking.

For more information, see IRS, States, Industry Continue Progress to Protect Taxpayers from Identity Theft (Oct. 20, 2015), available at,-States,-Industry-Continue-Progress-to-Protect-Taxpayers-from-Identity-Theft.

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