Keeping Taxpayer Data Secure

Overview

The annual global cost of cybercrime is high and getting higher all the time. In fact, cyber criminals reap a windfall from their activities that is estimated to have been $450 billion in 2015 and is anticipated to climb to an annual $10.5 trillion average by 2025. In the United States alone, the FBI received reports of almost 800,000 complaints involving $4.2 billion in 2020. Almost all of that cybercrime began with-and continues to start with-a social engineering concept known as "phishing."

Certain business organizations, among which are those referred to as "financial institutions," are charged by the FTC with taking particular steps to protect their customers' financial information. Included in the category of financial institutions are professional tax preparers. Professional tax preparers normally maintain a significant amount of taxpayer information in various files-electronic and paper-that would be a treasure trove for cyber criminals.

In this course, tax preparers are introduced to the problem of cybercrime and its costs, offered methods that can be expected to reduce the chances of becoming a cybercrime victim, and informed of proper steps to take if they do become victims of cybercrime. Accordingly, it will examine cybercrime and will discuss:

  • the extent of the cybercrime problem
  • the potential costs to a tax preparer whose taxpayer data have been breached
  • the best practices a tax preparer may implement to avoid becoming a cybercrime victim
  • what a tax preparer should do if its taxpayer data has been breached

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • recognize the pervasiveness of cybercrime
  • identify the potential costs of experiencing a data breach
  • identify the best practices that may be implemented to protect a tax preparer from cybercrime
  • pinpoint the responsibilities of a tax preparer who has experienced a taxpayer data breach

Tax Year: 2023-2024

Designed For

CPA, EAs, and other finance and tax professionals

Advanced Preparation

None

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