The Security Summit is gearing up for the 8th annual National Tax Security Awareness Week, a collaboration involving the IRS, state tax administrators, software providers, and the tax professional community. This week-long event is set to take place from November 27 to December 1, 2023.
8th Annual National Tax Security Awareness Week
During the eighth edition of National Tax Security Awareness Week, the IRS, state tax departments, and the tax industry aim to educate tax professionals and taxpayers on the best practices for safeguarding their private financial information from identity thieves. This initiative is especially crucial in the lead-up to the holidays and the 2024 tax year.
The week will feature a series of educational events designed to inform and protect taxpayers and tax professionals from identity theft and other scams.
Tax Security Summit
In 2015, the IRS, state tax administrators, tax software providers, tax professionals, and others in the tax community joined forces to create the Security Summit. Their mission is to prevent tax-related identity theft by improving internal security measures, enhancing coordination between the public and private sectors, and increasing public awareness of security threats.
The IRS and Summit partners are determined to thwart identity thieves and their increasingly sophisticated schemes. These thieves often use fake emails, messages, and online tactics to imitate the IRS and other tax community members.
These scams typically exploit current events or pretend to be nonprofit organizations, tricking victims into revealing private financial information, which can lead to identity theft related to taxes.
Issues with Social Security Taxes Resolved
From November 27th to December 1st, we have National Tax Security Awareness Week, spanning five days. Each day will focus on a significant threat to taxpayer security.
The IRS aims to educate the public about common tactics used by thieves to acquire personal information and provide guidance on protecting both individuals and businesses from cybercriminals.
The primary goal is to enhance taxpayers’ ability to recognize fraud, empowering them to take proactive steps to safeguard their identities and financial details. Look out for events in your area, as over 20 activities will be organized by various partners in the Security Summit effort across 19 states.
IRS’s Public Tax Security Awareness Webinar
A special highlight for tax professionals during the week is the webinar on November 30 at 10:30 a.m. ET. Led by the IRS and Jared Ballew, a Summit participant involved in creating the WISP, the workshop will feature insights from Ballew, who serves as the Vice President of Government Relations at Taxwell, representing TaxAct and Drake Software. He previously addressed packed audiences at special IRS Nationwide Tax Forum sessions this summer.
National Tax Security Awareness Week 2023 Security Features
When shopping online, the IRS and its Security Summit partners recommend these simple precautions:
- Ensure your antivirus program has a firewall and anti-malware functionality.
- Avoid shopping on public or unprotected Wi-Fi.
- Use strong, unique passwords for every account.
- Shop only on secure websites, identified by a padlock icon and “https” in the URL.
- Whenever possible, enable multi-factor authentication.
IRS PIN Scheme and Identity Theft
To protect themselves and their tax refund from identity thieves, taxpayers with online authentication capabilities may opt for the IRS Identity Protection PIN program. Here are some key points:
- The six-digit IP PIN is known only to the IRS and the individual. It provides extra protection for taxpayers’ Social Security numbers on tax returns.
- Obtain an IP PIN instantly using the IRS.gov/ippin tool.
- Only share the IP PIN with trusted tax providers.
Initiatives for National Tax Security Offerings
National Tax Security Awareness Week will feature numerous educational programs. These include daily press releases, updates on social media, and various instructional resources.
As part of these efforts, a webinar titled “Developing a Written Information Security Plan” is scheduled for tax professionals on November 30. The IRS and Summit partners are addressing identity theft and fraud, which manifest through fraudulent emails, SMS, and online scams impersonating the IRS and other members of the tax community.
Peter Barca, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and head of the Federation of Tax Administrators Board of Trustees, emphasizes the importance of everyone staying vigilant against these risks.
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