ata security is a top concern
for tax preparers, who are
increasingly a target for data
theft because of the amount of sensitive
taxpayer information they store. "A
cyber theft can severely damage a tax
practice or, even worse, put it out of
business," said IRS Senior Stakeholder
Liaison Joe McCarthy.
According to the IRS, "As the crimi-
nals' efforts increase in sophistica-
tion, so do the number and scope of
data breaches, which serves to further
expand the network and warehous-
ing of stolen and compromised iden-
tity information, and in turn increases
the potential for that stolen identity
information to ultimately reverberate
through the tax system."
In response, the IRS has released
Publication 4557, Safeguarding Tax-
payer Data, which helps tax prepar-
ers determine their data privacy and
security needs and implement safe-
guards to meet them in order to pro-
tect taxpayer information and help
prevent fraud and identity theft.
"The most useful part of IRS Publica-
tion 4557 is a series of step-by-step
checklists, outlining specific actions
you can take to make your tax prac-
tice and client tax data more secure,"
Checklists 4, 5, and 6 of Publication
4557 focus on protecting computer
systems and electronic media.
"Please take the time to review the
checklists for safeguarding taxpayer
data," said McCarthy. "It will be time
The IRS urges individual tax preparers
to notify their local IRS stakeholder li-
aison of any data theft to lessen the
impact on clients and the tax system.
Contact McCarthy with questions or
to report a breach using the contact
information at right.
IRS Releases `Safeguarding Taxpayer Data' Guide
Publication 4557 Provides Step-by-Step Checklists for Tax Preparers
to Help Prevent Cyber Attacks
Get Help from Our Local
IRS Stakeholder Liaison
a data breach, contact our local
IRS stakeholder liaison:
IRS Senior Stakeholder Liaison