Tax Pros: Remember to Safeguard EFINs | CWSEAPA PLLC

December 20, 2021
Candace J. Dixon

Adobe Stock Photo

Protect EFINs

One way for tax professionals to watch for suspicious activity is to check the activity on their EFIN. They can review it to see how many tax returns have been filed using their number. They should routinely verify the number of returns submitted using their EFIN through IRS e-Services; especially during tax filing season.

Practicing good security habits can also protect EFINs, including using strong anti-virus software, strong and unique passwords, and two-factor authentication whenever it is available.

While practicing prevention is important, so is the ability to recognize scams early on and follow all of the necessary steps if something does happen.

  • Learn to recognize and avoid phishing scams — don’t open links or attachments from suspicious emails, as most data thefts begin with a phishing email.
  • Secure all devices with security software and that automatically updates.
  • Use strong passwords of eight or more mixed characters; use phrases that are easily remembered; and password protect all wireless devices.
  • Encrypt all sensitive files and emails and use strong password protections.
  • Backup sensitive data to a safe and secure external source not connected fulltime to the network.
  • Wipe clean or destroy old computer hard drives containing sensitive data.

Set up IRS e-services accounts correctly and use their features to help recognize fraud.

If tax professionals don’t have an account, they can visit e-Services on the IRS website and register for one.

Once they establish and log into their e-Services account, they should follow these five steps to verify the number of returns electronically filed with the IRS:

  1. Select their name
  2. In the left banner, select Application
  3. In the left banner, select e-file Application
  4. Select their name again
  5. Select EFIN Status

After the last step, the screen will show the number of returns filed based on return type. Preparers can see the number of returns the IRS received and match that number to their records. The IRS updates this information weekly. Tax preparers should contact the IRS e-help desk at 866–255–0654 if their records don’t match what they see in the system, and contact the IRS if they see anything else suspicious in their account.

Resources:

Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation

Publication 1345, Handbook for Authorized IRS e-file Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns

--

--

--

I’m an accountant and freelance content writer who thrives on researching the latest topics and trends in small business tax, accounting, finance and marketing.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Ways Employees Unknowingly Sabotage Data Security

Workshop on Threat Modeling, Cloud Security and API Security Testing at the Edgeverve Information…

How COVIDSafe works as far as I can tell*

What is AES Advanced Encryption Standard ❓

{UPDATE} 聖靈召喚師 Hack Free Resources Generator

{UPDATE} Chezz: Juega Ajedrez Rápido Hack Free Resources Generator

Is Articial Inteligence Dangerous

Why You Need to Enable 2FA Right Now!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Candace J. Dixon

Candace J. Dixon

I’m an accountant and freelance content writer who thrives on researching the latest topics and trends in small business tax, accounting, finance and marketing.

More from Medium

Bitcoin Zero — Join the revolution

ItchySats is on Umbrel!

QuickRise ECOSYSTEM Welcome to QuickRise Ecosystem ($QRISE) an experimental protocol on Binance…

Firefly — flying over competitors (part 2)