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This month, tax preparers must re-register  with the IRS and validate identities. This is being done to protect taxpayers against more sophisticated methods of hacking and identity theft.

When some people think of the IRS, a sinking feeling often creeps up. Taxpayers have been conditioned to fear contact with the organization; thinking if they’re hearing from them it must be bad news. It’s true, part of what the IRS does is police our country’s tax system, but as most tax preparers are aware of, they provide more than that function.

Identity theft is on the rise. Hackers are becoming more creative and so the IRS is making internal changes.

Along with managing who is paying what, when the IRS protects taxpayers and tax preparer information and maintains the security of its systems. In order to perform this function, the IRS is strengthening the identity validation process for certain self-help tools on IRS.gov.

Later this month, there will be a change to the e-service registration and login process. All existing e-Services users are required to re-register and validate their identities. This is done through the Secure Access process. IRS asks that all tax preparers review details at Important Update about e-Services Accounts.

PHISHING SCAM ALERT!

It has come to IRS attention that an email is being issued to tax preparers asking them to update their e-Services information. This appears to be a phishing scam intended to capture e-Services usernames and passwords. This email WAS NOT generated by e-Services.

If you receive an e-mail like this, do not take action or click on the links. See the recent IRS media release for more details. Please report unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) by sending to phishing@irs.gov.

TDS

IRS designed the Transcript Delivery System (TDS) to prevent delivery transcripts to requestors when an ID Theft indicator is on the account. In an effort to minimize additional ID Theft opportunities, Tax Professionals with Power of Attorney can contact the Practitioner Priority Specialty line to obtain a client’s transcript. Taxpayers will receive a notice alerting them of requests for their transcript and instruct them to contact the Identity Theft toll-free number. Once proper authentication has been completed, IRS will issue a transcript to the taxpayer.

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