In two releases, the IRS addressed protecting tax data.
In IR-2018-161, the IRS has urged tax professionals to adopt certain preventative measures to safeguard client data to avoid becoming targets of identity theft. Exploring an insurance coverage option for data thefts could help notify clients or provide extended protection. In addition, if tax professionals use cloud storage, they can also ask their cloud service provided about cyber insurance coverage in case the provider’s systems were breached. Moreover, password-protecting every client account can also protect against data thefts even though this may appear to be incredibly tedious. Further, emerging threats that can lead to data theft can be mitigated by updating security software and opting for a Virtual Private Network (VPN) as opposed to remote access. Additional information on security recommendations can be obtained by reviewing Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data.
In Tax Tip 2018-121, the IRS addresses how taxpayers can monitor their tax information online, including:
- The amount they owe
- Their payment history
- Tax records
- Key information from their most recent tax return as originally filed
A taxpayer can also monitor their personal tax account by keeping track of payments and taxes owed. This online information is the same as what’s provided by IRS representatives..
Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.