Okay. We understand that it is a public service announcement. But it is ironic that the IRS is providing recommendations to tax return preparers on protecting client information (IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data). The guidance is good. But, shouldn’t the IRS be leading by example? Here, we have a federal agency that allows dishonest employees to steal taxpayers’ identities and has systems that do not adequately protect the sensitive data of taxpayers as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who had their identities stolen due to inadequate security measures. We have prisoners filing false tax returns in the thousands, and the IRS has no systems in place to know that an inordinate amount of tax returns are showing the same address, and that address being a federal prison. When will Congress give the IRS the power and funds to shut down the tax shops run by unlicensed and unethical tax preparers that file false returns and steal taxpayer SSNs?
The IRS has reminded tax return preparers that they are prime targets for identity thieves who seek data to use on fraudulent tax returns. The IRS recommends [Read more…] about IRS Public Service – Identify Theft Guidance