Tax Privacy Science, Computers & Technology

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News & Analysis as of

Experian handling 70 breaches a week resulting from IRS phishing scam

On March 1, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service alerted the business community of an e-mail phishing scheme designed to convince employees to provide company-wide W-2 tax forms containing social security numbers and other...more

Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca faces leak of 11 million documents exposing thousands of clients

In late 2014, an anonymous source secretly leaked to a German newspaper reporter nearly four decades of confidential and proprietary data about shell companies registered by the multinational Panamian based law firm Mossack...more

Tidewater Community College hit with phishing scam exposing data of 3,193 employees

Tidewater Community College (Tidewater) has announced that the personal information, including names and Social Security numbers of 3,193 current and former faculty and staff members was compromised in a phishing scheme and...more

Recent Developments in Cybersecurity: The SEC is Preparing Cases against Firms for Lack of Cybersecurity Preparedness and Phishing...

SEC Enforcement - Andrew Ceresney, head of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement confirmed during a panel discussion at the Investment Company Institute’s Mutual Funds and Investment Management Conference in Orlando, Fla.,...more

Privacy Tip #28 – What do you do if you are a victim of IRS tax fraud?

It’s tax season. The dreaded April 15 federal tax filing deadline is looming. You try to be diligent, and you file your tax return early, hoping to get an early refund. But when you try to e-file your return, it gets rejected...more

No April Fool's Joke: New Scam Targeting HR And Payroll

An unfortunate number of employers have recently fallen victim to a phishing scam that tricks them into disclosing highly sensitive employee information to unknown third parties. Make sure to warn your Human Resources and...more

How Employers Can Help Prevent W-2's From Being Breached and Their Employees From Becoming Victims of ID Theft

The Internal Revenue Service issued an alert about an emerging phishing email scheme that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees. The IRS has learned this scheme – part of...more

Beware of the CEO Email Request Phishing Scam: A Different Form of March Madness

Not only is it “March Madness” time, it is also prime tax return filing time. That means that the email scammers are out in full force as well. In the last 10 days, we have seen a marked uptick in what are called...more

Don’t Get Phished! Hackers Pose as CEOs to Steal Tax Information from HR and Payroll Professionals at Healthcare Organizations

Every tax season is plagued with scams to defraud individuals and companies for money from tax returns. However, this year has started off with a bang and this means that the healthcare industry has another reason to worry....more

IRS (Temporarily?) Halts IPPIN Application Process

I have previously written about the IPPIN program that the IRS offers many taxpayers as a way to prevent tax-related identity fraud. Unfortunately, the IRS has halted the application process for now. On its website,...more

Privacy Tip #24 – IRS issues Alert to Payroll and HR Professionals about phishing scheme for W-2s

This week’s tip is for businesses, and in particular, the human resources, benefits and finance departments of all businesses. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or where you or located. It doesn’t matter if you have...more

IRS approved tax preparers fail to protect consumers’ privacy and IRS increases the number of individuals affected by filing of...

In a report of an audit of 13 IRS approved tax filing firms, Online Trust Alliance found that six of the 13 firms do not provide adequate security against cyberintrusions. The firms, all members of the IRS’s Free File...more

Tax Relief for Identity Protection Services

In 2015, following numerous customer data security breaches at major U.S. companies, the IRS announced special tax relief to breach victims who were provided identity protection services as a result of the breach. In January...more

UVA notifies employees of illegal access to human resources information through phishing scheme

The University of Virginia (UVA) has notified approximately 1,400 of its employees that unauthorized individuals were able to access its HR system and the personal information of 1,400 employees of the Academic Division. The...more

Tax season may bring more breaches; new victim, TaxAct

This tax season, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been working closely with big tax preparation vendors and chains to improve the security this year and safeguard against widespread identity theft. The IRS is now...more

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy: Belated Holiday Gift - The IRS Doubles Down on Tax Free Identity Protection Services (1/16)

Following several high-profile breaches of business and government databases affecting the personal information of millions of Americans (including the IRS’s "Get Transcript" app) many businesses, governmental agencies and...more

Best Practices for Handling Vehicle Event Data Recorders

Event data recorders, also known as “black boxes” or “sensing diagnostic modules,” capture information such as the speed of a vehicle and the use of a safety belt. In the event of a collision this information can be used to...more

Regional Income Tax Authority in Ohio loses info on 50,000 people

The Regional Income Tax Agency of Ohio (RITA) announced on December 31, 2015, that it lost the personal data of approximately 50,000 individuals who filed tax forms with the agency in November. RITA provides tax collection...more

IRS provides tax relief for pre-breach identity protection services

The IRS released a bulletin on December 30, 2015, (Announcement 2016-02) announcing that it would extend the tax exemption issued in August to organizations who provide credit monitoring to its employees following a data...more

An Ounce of Prevention…Is Tax-Free: IRS Expands Tax Relief to Pre-Data Breach Identity Theft Protection Services

As reported here after last year’s customer data security breaches at major U.S. corporations, the IRS announced special tax relief for identity protection services provided to individuals affected by a security breach. In...more

Appropriations Bill Has a Few Surprises

On December 18, the President signed into law H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act Of 2016, (the “Act”), the 887 page bill which avoided a closure of federal government functions. Beyond the massive funding of the...more

The Tax Man Cometh Not to ID Protection Recipients Either

Late last year, while you were probably busy picking out which bubbly to pop at the stroke of midnight, the IRS gave us another reason to celebrate. You may remember (as we wrote previously) the IRS said it would not require...more

The IRS’ Proposed Regulations to Provide a Substitute to the “Contemporaneous Written Acknowledgment” Requirement: A Data Security...

If you are a donor who makes a charitable gift of $250 or more, you need to obtain a “contemporaneous written acknowledgment” (CWA) letter from the recipient charitable organization to substantiate your donation and take the...more

IRS Begins Campaign to Encourage Taxpayers to Protect Personal Information

As we recently reported, on October 20, the IRS announced the implementation of new measures developed in collaboration with state taxing authorities and tax industry leaders to prevent identity theft in refund fraud. On...more

IRS says taxpayers can’t sue it for data breach

The Internal Revenue Service recently requested a federal judge in the D.C. Circuit to dismiss a putative class action suit by taxpayers against the IRS for a data breach earlier this year that affected over 330,000...more

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