Tax practitioners and their clients are concerned about the growing epidemic of tax-related identity theft. 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.
This webcast archive provides exclusive insight from an IRS Criminal Investigation agent and a tax practitioner who experienced a data breach. Learn preventative measures to implement today.
This toolkit provides the resources you need to discuss tax-related identity theft with your clients, address account problems with the IRS, and maintain the highest security measures for your firm.
This comprehensive checklist outlines specific steps a client should take to mitigate the damage of identity theft. (Open to all AICPA members)
Checklists, Practice Guides, and Templates
- Practitioner Identity Theft Checklist : Use this checklist (workpaper) to facilitate a client meeting and/or action plan to address identity theft issues.
- Best Practices for Keeping Client Data Secure : Addresses guidance on secure portals, a clean desk policy, employee training, e-filing, and other security measures.
- Letter to Advise Client After Tax-Related Identity Theft Occurs : Provides advice on the two common situations: (1) e-file rejection, and (2) a notice/account problem.
Videos, Webcast Archives, and Other Media
- Cybersecurity and Ransomware, Protecting Yourself From Attack: Learn about ransomware, which operating systems are the most vulnerable, and signs your system may be infected with malware.
- Recognizing Identity Theft: Practitioners 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: Practitioners share their strategies on ways to resolve tax-related identity theft (who to call, what IRS form to file, etc.).
- Repairing a Stolen Identity: Provides details on how to resolve issues for clients with stolen identities.
- The War on Tax ID Theft Continues: CPAs' Role: Highlights IRS initiatives on reducing tax-related identity theft and fraudulent returns as well as best practice for tax professionals, Journal of Accountancy, Aug. 2017.
- Data Compromises: A Tax Practitioner's Nightmare: Mark Kahler, National Identity Theft Coordinator for IRS Criminal Investigation, discusses cybersecurity schemes and ways to combat them, Tax Section News, March 2017
- Keeping Clients' Tax Data Secure: Addresses how to protect your firm, educate your clients, and develop a data breach response plan, Journal of Accountancy, Oct. 2016
- Breaking Bad News to Victims of Identity Theft: Lessons from Medical Doctors: CPAs can better help clients by learning counseling techniques from medical professionals, Journal of Accountancy, Aug. 2016
- How Clients Can Protect Their Tax Data from Hackers: CPAs should share these best practices with clients to help them secure their tax information, CPA Insider, April 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
- Financial Reporting Center Cybersecurity Resource Center: Collection of resources to help businesses with cybersecurity.
- Information Management and Technology Assurance Resource Center: Additional guidance and resources to help combat identity theft.
- Tax-Related Identity Theft Brochure: Assortment of resources to help practitioners discuss tax-related identity theft with their clients, address account problems with the IRS, and protect client information proactively.
- Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit: Use this form to report identity theft to the IRS.
- Identity Protection: Preventing, Detection and Victim Assistance Resource page: IRS’s one-stop-shop for all of its identity theft resources (publications, YouTube videos, etc.).
- Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself: IRS and its Security Summit partners provide information on scams and prevention measures aimed at tax professionals.
- IdentityTheft.gov: New website that offers step-by-step checklists that explain what to do right away depending on the information that has been stolen or exposed.
- 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.
- Stakeholder Liaison Local Contacts: The IRS has advised any firm who experiences a client data breach to contact their local stakeholder liaison for help.
- 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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Reviewed August 15, 2017