IRS Announces Heightened Identity Theft Safeguards

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IRS Announces Heightened Identity Theft Safeguards

Kudos to the IRS! As taxpayers and tax practitioners get ready for the 2017 tax filing season, the IRS touted the successes that it and its Security Summit partners have had in reducing tax return identity theft.

For the first nine months of 2016, the number of tax return identity theft victims was reduced by half from the same period in 2015.  In addition, many more fraudulent returns were identified and intercepted before processing, and the number of fraudulent refunds paid by the IRS and identified by banks fell greatly.

For this filing season, the IRS and its partners announced additional “trusted customer” features that would help reduce this crime even more.  Thirty-seven new data elements will be transmitted by the tax industry with every tax return, providing additional information to strengthen the authentication that a tax return is being filed by the real taxpayer.

For the first time, tax preparers will share with the IRS and states 32 data elements from business tax returns to extend identity theft protections to business filers as well as individuals.

Tax Adviser January 2017