Circumventing Tax-Related Identity Theft
Over the past few years, tax related identity theft has been on the rise. In many ways, tax payers have been victims of identity theft in the following ways:
* Unlawfully retrieving data from servers, PCs, mobile phones and PDAs that are being repaired or being discarded
* Computer breaches in security of the browser or malware like Trojan horses or other spyware forms
* Hacking the computer networks
* Making advertisements of counterfeit jobs in a bid to acquire the personal information of an applicant
* Browsing websites of social networking in order to obtain personal details
Law enforcement focus was formerly on the fraud committed and not on the information on personal identification used in the fraud. In recent times, governments have endorsed laws to levy different penalties for fraud caused due to stolen identity data.
Financial institutions are also expected to come up with programs intended to tackle suspicious practices or patterns or particular activities which dictate the possibility of theft identity. These requirements expects that certain organizations and businesses have to implement a theft prevention program intended to spot the red flags or warning signs of identity theft in their daily operations.
Besides safeguarding the client’s information and files and the use of greater security techniques for protecting computer networks, filing clients’ returns early on helps in identification of problems at the earliest.Small prepares who are unregulated tend to be the ones that are most under-informed with regard to security issues and identity theft.
Every state has its own statute for criminalizing identity theft. The Internal Revenue Code offers criminal and monetary penalties for disclosures that are unauthorized or the use of taxpayer information by persons engaged in offering or preparing services in connection with preparation of tax returns or who do not well protect the personal information of clients.
For the foreseeable future, tax-related identity theft is expected to remain a hot topic. Every practitioner will be expected to keep an eye for new requirements and developments while looking for means of enhancing the security of their client files and networks.