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IRS Partners with Tax Industry and State Officials to Combat Identity Theft

TaxAlerts Tax Article

July 2015 | Written by: Charla Woods

In March of this year, with the 2015 tax season still in full swing, IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, was already beginning preparation for the 2016 tax season. On March 19, 2015, Koskinen gathered leading administrators from the IRS, state taxing agencies, and tax firms in the private sector, at a Security Summit. Over the course of the summit, these influential leaders in the tax industry discussed information security and brainstormed ideas on how to protect taxpayers in our ever-evolving world. As a result of these discussions, task forces were instituted, and these groups have begun to create and initiate essential changes which will revolutionize and improve taxpayer security in the coming years. Some of these changes may include:

  • Verifying the validity of filed tax returns through data transmission. Necessary systems will be set up to process various types of information, such as Internet addresses and computer identification data, to determine whether or not high numbers of tax returns are being processed from one location.
  • Data-sharing. The summit groups agreed that the sharing of fraud leads between both the public and private sectors would create a clearer data picture and, in turn, help to more quickly identify suspicious trends and possible threats.
  • Increasing taxpayer awareness. While the IRS, state taxing agencies, and privately-owned tax businesses will be taking intentional steps to prevent taxpayers from becoming victims of fraud or identity theft, there is always the possibility that the criminals will bypass the IRS entirely and head straight to your door. That is why it was agreed that taxpayers should be armed with the necessary information and tools to be able to protect themselves from such criminals. The summit team has already begun taking proactive steps in order to raise taxpayer awareness about how to keep their personal information secure – particularly when dealing with electronic forms of communication. This initiative is intended to continue and will expand well into 2016.

For more information on the future of taxpayer security, please call the IRS or visit the Internal Revenue Service website at IRS.gov.