In Uncategorized on 11/28/2017 at 07:30

Yo, tax pro, read and heed the e-mails that you’ll be getting from RPO. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cliché.

This heads-up hit my inbox by dawn’s early light.

“In recent years there has been much talk about data security. You may ask ‘Why is data security important?’ Tax professionals are becoming the number one target for identity thieves. Consider the treasure trove of information you possess. You have sensitive, personal and financial information about your clients, in your files and on your networks. When cybercriminals breach your systems they gain access to the data of hundreds, if not thousands, of taxpayers. They use this stolen information to file fraudulent tax returns, commit financial crimes, and create financial havoc for your clients. Remember, as a tax preparer you are subject to federal laws that require safeguarding of client records and information.

“This is National Tax Security Awareness Week, hosted by the IRS, state tax agencies, and the tax industry. You can read more about the campaign on, keyword: IR-2017-190.

“Please watch for three additional emails from us about data security in the weeks ahead, leading up to the start of the 2018 filing season.

“Carol A. Campbell
Director, IRS Return Preparer Office”

Cynics may ask why the cybergangsters need to hack you or me, when 147 million Equifax dossiers have been stolen, each containing “all ye know on Earth and all ye need to know,” as a much finer writer than I put it, with apparent impunity both to thief and theftee.

Still and all, your clients can sue you. Most of us never put mandatory arbitration clauses in our engagement letters. In fact, for some of us, it may be unethical to do so.

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