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IRS Says Security Summit Yields Positive Results

On June 28, private- and public-sector tax administration leaders met to review what had been accomplished in 2016 and plan for next year, concluding that the Security Summit’s past efforts reduced the number of would-be victims. The 2016 protocols included new password requirements for DIY filers, tax software providers sharing identifying information from returns with the IRS to help spot fraudulent activity, and regular security reviews and reports to help the IRS and states find and address new fraud schemes. The IRS stated that these efforts led to significant gains against identity thieves:
  • $1.1 billion worth of fraudulent returns were stopped
  • 36,000 additional returns were suspended for review
  • 48% drop in identity theft reports on the IRS Identity Theft Assistance Service
  • 66% drop in financial institution reports of suspicious refunds
Commissioner Koskinen indicated that this collaboration led to a safer tax system and that 2017’s new security measures would further protect taxpayers from identity thieves looking to file fraudulent returns. Here are a few of the changes that tax professionals can expect next year:
  • The W-2 Verification Code will now cover 50 million forms
  • More identifying data elements from returns will be used to improve authentication
  • The Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Information & Analysis Center will be launched
  • An expansion of the “Taxes. Security. Together.” awareness campaign
The IRS press release ended by noting that, starting July 1, 2016, the Security Summit will be tied to the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Council (ETAAC). Source: Internal Revenue Service

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