You play a critical role in the ongoing industry-wide battle against tax fraud. That’s why I was so honored to represent Intuit® and our customers at the IRS Security Summit press conference on July 25. At the conference, we heard the latest from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about the contributions tax and accounting professionals make in helping safeguard taxpayer information.
Since the launch of the Security Summit in 2015, the IRS has had fewer fraudulent returns, bad refunds going out the door and tax-related identity theft victims than in previous years.
So far for 2017, the number of individuals reporting identity theft tax refund fraud has declined sharply compared to the same time in 2016 and 2015. Those are results we can all be proud of, but there’s still more work to do.
We proudly support the IRS’ new 10-week campaign, ”Don’t Take the Bait,” which includes messaging on phishing emails posing as familiar businesses or colleagues, the need for good security software to protect against malware and viruses, good password practices, and the encryption of sensitive data. All of these are vital steps you can take to protect yourself and your clients.
Intuit is committed to doing its part to actively promote a set of best practices and standards for reporting suspicious behavior to the IRS and states to help them improve their ability to identify tax fraud. In recent years, companies like Intuit, which offers Intuit ProConnect™ Tax Online, Lacerte®, and ProSeries®, for the first time, shared more than 30 data elements with the IRS and state tax agencies. These data points assist the IRS and states in identifying suspicious returns. For 2018, the number of data elements will increase, which should further enhance the ability of the IRS and states not only to identify suspicious returns, but also to reduce “false positives,” helping to make sure that legitimate returns are processed as usual.
We’ve shared our views on how new and emerging technology will impact the future of tax and accounting professionals, and what a day in the life of a tax professional will look like in 10 years. These trends we are seeing will provide you with new opportunities to be a trusted advisor and business consultant for your clients. We are investing our time and resources to ensure you and your firm have the tools you need to have the capabilities you need to thrive. That includes security.
We know your clients expect you to help safeguard their most trusted financial information. We are committed to leading the way with industry-wide efforts to combat tax fraud. We’ll also continue to work across the profession to provide you with timely, critical information on security, scams and identity theft prevention measures aimed at tax professionals, so you can further protect client data and your business.
Protecting taxpayers and strengthening the integrity of the U.S. tax system is a team effort, and we’re proud to be a part of your team.