If you’ve been following along with us, you know that we focus a lot on security. Not only is our tax preparation software extremely secure, but we take every precaution imaginable to ensure our clients’ information is protected. The last thing in the world we want is somebody’s personal identifying information stolen. The same goes for the IRS. They are taking a lot of precautions to strengthen security at every turn. As a wider effort to protect taxpayers, the IRS took steps this year to strengthen access to several web applications. This includes adding requirements for the use of security codes texted to mobile phones to access certain tools.
Web Tool Access Strengthened
The security code process used by the IRS is a two-step process. It is used to authenticate the user’s identity and right to access specific information. Using this safety measure is becoming more common in a lot of apps–including social media as well as in financial and tax areas. The two-step process to access accounts are your login information plus an added security code, and the code is sent as a text.
Other Security Measures Taken by the IRS for 2017
The IRS has partnered with several agencies–state tax agencies as well as the nation’s tax industry–to combat identity theft. They are asking for your help in their efforts to make a difference in keeping everybody’s personal information safe. The new process is called “Secure Access” and is the result of scammers trying to impersonate taxpayers. Each year, criminals are able to get their hands on more and more taxpayer information. Typically it is usually stolen from places outside of the tax system. This information is used to file fake returns or get access to accounts.
The Secure Access Process
- An email address
- Social Security number
- Filing status and address from your last filed tax return
- Your personal account number from any of the following: credit card, home mortgage loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, or a car loan
- A mobile phone. You can only use U.S. based mobile phones. Your name must be associated with the wireless account to complete the process in one session. If you have a Google Voice or other virtual phones or a pay-as-you-go plan, you can get a code by mail. However this takes five to ten days for delivery. Unfortunately, you cannot use landlines or Skype.
Every time you log into your IRS accounts, you need to have all of your info ready. This means you need your username, password, and your cell handy to get your code. It is similar to logging into Facebook, Twitter, or your bank account from an unrecognized device. This provides customers with an extra measure of protection.
What’s the Purpose of these Safety Measures?
It all boils down to security. The IRS wants to make sure you and only you can get into your account. All of the new measures are part of the Security Summit’s series of initiatives. Additionally, it protects you from any tax-related identity theft.
Our clients are what makes us successful, and you can rest assured that we are following every security protocol available. Furthermore, we do everything possible to make sure your personal information is safe. Knowing that your personal data is safe with us is one less thing you should have to worry about.