Tax practitioners and their clients are concerned about the growing epidemic of tax-related identity theft in America. The AICPA shares members' concerns about the impact of identity theft and offers the resources below to help them learn more about this issue and advise clients. We have provided recommendations to Congress and the IRS Oversight Board on ways to further protect taxpayers and preparers.
To stay abreast of continued efforts on identity theft, see AICPA Identity Theft Tax Advocacy Efforts.
Articles & News
• IRS IP-PIN Notice Contains Wrong Tax Year for Filing: The IRS alerted the public that notices it sent out with IP-PINs contain the wrong tax year (should be for tax year 2015), The Tax Adviser, Jan. 2016
• Businesses and tax ID theft: Highlights how businesses may need a CPA's help in protecting against and remedying tax-related identity theft, Journal of Accountancy, Dec. 2015
• IRS Warns Practitioners of an e-Services Phishing Scam: Explains the latest IRS phishing scam and steps to take if a practitioner receives this type of fraudulent email, The Tax Adviser, Nov. 2015
• Tax ID Theft Victims May Obtain Copies of Fraudulent Returns: Explains how taxpayers and authorized representatives may obtain copies of returns filed by thieves using the taxpayers' stolen identity, The Tax Adviser, Nov. 2015
• Identity Theft Protection Services Provided After a Data Breach Are Not Taxable: Addresses the IRS's Announcement 2015-22 regarding the tax treatment of free identity protection services provided to victims,The Tax Adviser, Aug. 2015
• Temporary Regulations End Automatic Extension for Forms W-2: Discusses a step the IRS is taking to try to combat identity theft, The Tax Adviser, Aug. 2015
• Resolving the Theft of Tax Clients' Identity: Addresses the recent 2015 Tax Software Survey that found that CPAs have seen an increase in identity theft and provides tips for dealing with the problem, The Tax Adviser, Aug. 2015
• Thieves access IRS Get Transcript app, 100,000 accounts compromised: Addresses the recent tax account data breach, Journal of Accountancy, May 2015
• 2015's Dirty Dozen Tax Scams: Discusses 2015's scams including phone scams, phishing, and identity theft,Journal of Accountancy, Feb. 2015
Securing Client Data: A Fundamental Priority: Addresses steps to take to secure client information, The Tax Adviser, Oct. 2014
Tools, Templates, & Other Resources
• Newly Updated! Identity Theft Checklist Assists practitioners in advising clients on how to address identity theft issues involving credit agencies, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), local police, debt collectors, and taxing authorities.
• New! Client Identity Theft Checklist: Provide this checklist to your client to help him or her mitigate the damage of identity theft (closing credit cards, filing a police report, etc.).
• New! Letter to Advise Client on Tax-Related Identity Theft Provide this letter to your client to give advice on the two common tax identity theft situations: (1) e-file rejection, and (2) a notice/account problem. This letter also highlights how you can help.
• Recognizing Identity Theft: View a video from tax practitioners who share common reasons why tax-related identity theft occurs and how to recognize when it happens to your clients.
• How Do You Resolve Identity Theft: View a video from tax practitioners who share their strategies on ways to resolve tax-related identity theft (who to call, what IRS form to file, what type of authorization you need, etc.).
• Guide on Best Practices for Keeping Client Data Secure Provides tips on how to keep client information safe.
• Identity Theft Resources: AICPA Information Management and Technology Assurance (IMTA) resource page that provides additional identity theft links and resources.
• FTC Identity Theft Resources for Businesses: Provides FTC resources to help organizations secure personal information that they collect and prevent identity theft.
• Webcast archive: Repairing a Stolen Identity: This presentation from July 2013 provides details on how to resolve issues for clients with stolen identities.
• Webcast archive: Managing Tax-Related Identity Theft, PowerPoint slides This presentation from July 2014 provides statistics, information on types of identity theft, and tips to help you clean up the mess.
• Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit: Use this form to report identity theft to the IRS.
• Stakeholder Liaison Local Contacts: Stakeholder liaisons establish relationships with practitioner and industry organizations; they provide information about policies, practices, and procedures.
• Identity Protection: Preventing, Detection and Victim Assistance Resource page: This is the IRS’s one-stop-shop for all of its identity theft resources, including guidance, publications, news items, YouTube videos, and more.
• Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP-PIN): Provides guidance on what an IP-PIN is, why it is needed, and how to request one for your client.
• FAQs About IP-PINs: Answers common questions regarding IP-PINs.
• IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams: Provides information about phone scams (taxpayers who receive unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be the IRS).
• Instructions for Requesting Copy of Fraudulent Return: Instructs victims of identity theft and authorized representatives how to obtain a copy of a return filed by a thief.
Other External Resources
• Federal Trade Commission, Tax-Related Identity Theft: Provides information on how to uncover tax-related identity theft, deal with it, and repair the problem.
• Federal Trade Commission, Identity Theft: Provides guidance on other types of identity theft, including medical identity theft and child identity theft.
• Social Security Administration, Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number (SSN): Highlights the importance of securing SSNs and steps to take if there is a breach in use, such as how and when to request a new SSN.
• IdentityTheft.gov: New website that offers step-by-step checklists that explain what to do right away, and what to do next, depending on the information that has been stolen or exposed.
• Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) - IRS Impersonation Scam: Online form to fill out to report an IRS impersonation scam. [Note: a taxpayer may also call (800) 366-4484 to report the scam.]
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