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Tax Science, Computers & Technology Privacy

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Tax issues written by leading professionals.

Eight Thousand Clients Affected by Data Breach at Two Massachusetts Accounting Firms

Two Massachusetts accounting firms separately recently notified the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation of data breach incidents at their firms, resulting in...more

Virginia Amends Breach Notification Law

by McGuireWoods LLP on

As previously reported, the significant rise in Form W-2 phishing e-mails has prompted increased awareness surrounding these fraudulent tax schemes. Most recently, Virginia has responded to these types of attacks by amending...more

IRS to Notify 100,000 Taxpayers That Their Information May Have Been Obtained Through Misuse of FAFSA Retrieval Tool

On Thursday, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Commissioner John Koskinen testified that the personal data of up to a 100,000 taxpayers could have been compromised as a result of criminal use of the Free Application for...more

IRS is Hacked, Again!

The New York Times reported yesterday that identity thieves may have compromised up to 100,000 U.S. taxpayer accounts. The criminals apparently took advantage of a software tool that loaded information from tax returns onto...more

FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool Remains Down Over Security Concerns

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Federal Student Aid (FSA) announced that the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov will be unavailable until extra security protections could be added....more

Treasury Inspector General Slams IRS for Lack of Strategy Following 2015 Data Breach

In a scathing report published on March 27, 2017, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration blasted the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) following its analysis of the IRS’ steps following a data breach in 2015 that...more

German Corporate Newsletter - March 2017

For companies interested in investing in, purchasing or selling German companies, here are several recent developments related to Data Privacy and Cybersecurity, M&A, Employment and Tax law that are helpful to keep in mind....more

“W-2 Phishing Attacks Targeting Businesses to Cash in on Busy Tax Season: 10 Tips to Protect Your Business”

by Sedgwick LLP on

Cyber criminals are taking advantage of tax season to lure valuable W-2 information from vulnerable businesses. An example of a common phishing scheme starts with a scammer posing as a legitimate employee of a company,...more

Train Your Team: Protect Personally Identifiable Information From a Widespread Phishing Scam

Every January 31, employers scramble to meet the deadline for mailing W-2 forms to their employees. This year, a new iteration of an old W-2 phishing scam surfaced immediately thereafter....more

ALERT: Beware of W-2 Scam!

by McGuireWoods LLP on

Our Data Privacy and Security team is currently assisting multiple clients in responding to nearly identical fraudulent requests for IRS Form W-2 information. Significantly, these clients are in a number of industries and are...more

IRS Issues Warning of “Dangerous W2 Phishing Scam”

We always see a surge in W2 email phishing schemes this time of year, as it is tax time, and many individuals are filing their tax returns in order to get a quick refund. So are criminals and cyber-hackers. ...more

Will Cryptocurrency Abuse be an Enforcement Focus for the IRS this Tax Season?

by McGuireWoods LLP on

Tax filing season began January 23rd, and with its arrival the IRS began rolling out its annual list of the so-called “Dirty Dozen.” The Dirty Dozen list is an educational effort to inform the public about scams, but it also...more

Employees Expecting Tax Refunds? So Are Your Hackers

by King & Spalding on

With the beginning of the 2016 tax season, employers should be on high alert for the wave of W-2 spear phishing scams coming their way once again this year. Companies that fall victim to this type of scam likely will be faced...more

Safeguarding Your Company from Cyber Tax Crimes - Take Action Now!

by Clark Hill PLC on

As if tax season was not bad enough, the U.S. Internal Revenue Services ("IRS") recently issued an urgent alert warning that cybercriminal phishing scams are utilizing a new, more dangerously effective method for large-scale...more

It’s Tax Time – Don’t be Phished

It’s that taxing time of the year. Employees have received W-2 forms and the tax filing season has begun in earnest. And, as night follows day, last year’s W-2 spear-phishing scam has returned. The IRS and state tax...more

Bitcoin and the IRS - The Battle Continues

Dispute is heating up over IRS’s attempts to get personal information about users of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Last November, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) filed a petition in the United States...more

Tax Season Becomes "Spear Phishing" Season for Cybercriminals

by Baker Donelson on

Imagine this scenario. Your HR team receives an email from your CEO: "I want you to send me W-2s of employees' wage and tax statement for 2015, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment." They hurry to...more

Can a PA Employer be Liable to its Employees for a Data Breach?

It’s a nightmare scenario for any employer: you’ve been hacked. Thousands of your employees’ names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, and bank account information have been stolen. This information is used to file...more

Tax Season Is in Full Swing: Beware of the W-2 Spear Phishing Scam

by BakerHostetler on

Last year we saw an unprecedented number of companies of all sizes fall victim to a W-2 spear phishing scam. The scam usually began with a “spoofing” email that appeared to have been sent by a company’s CEO or CFO to one or...more

2016 was the Year of the Data Breach

Although every year we lament about the significance of data breaches in the past year, 2016 was by far the worst. Data breaches were rampant, victimizing every industry and numbing consumers in the process. It was so bad...more

Do As We Say, Not As We Do: Audit Reveals Unencrypted IRS Emails Put Taxpayer Data at Risk

by McGuireWoods LLP on

With tax season around the corner, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has begun its yearly campaign to educate taxpayers on the importance of protecting their personal information. However, a recent audit of the agency’s...more

D.C. District Court Dismisses Cybersecurity Suit Against The IRS

by King & Spalding on

On November 2, 2016, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a class action cybersecurity lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for lack of standing and failure...more

IRS Data Breach Class Action Dismissed

by Nossaman LLP on

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service successfully defeated a putative class action related to a data breach it suffered in 2015. The D.C. District Court’s decision dismissing the suit demonstrates the high bar required to...more

Bill Proposes Tax Incentives For Data Breach Insurance

by King & Spalding on

On September 14, 2016, U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) introduced the “Data Breach Insurance Act,” which would incentivize private industry to enhance its cybersecurity posture by providing federal income tax...more

Former IRS Employee Reports to Prison for Identity Theft and Fraud

Nakeisha Hall was sentenced in federal district court in August to serve nine years and two months in prison after she plead guilty for crimes she committed while working for the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service. Instead of...more

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