You may (or may not) have heard about cyber threats in the news, especially those targeting tax professionals. We want to reassure you that all of us at One River CPAshave been taking every precaution to protect your personal tax information. Your trust and the security of your information are crucial to us.
The latest round of threats are fake IRS tax bills that may arrive by email, as an attachment, or by mail purportedly related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You will NOT receive correspondence from the IRS via email. You can safely delete any such email. Never open the attachment. If you receive correspondence by mail it has many signs of being fake:
- The CP2000 notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas, address;
- The letter says the issue is related to the Affordable Care Act and requests information regarding 2014 coverage;
- The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C;
- Requests checks made out to I.R.S. and sent to the “Austin Processing Center” at a post office box.
IRS impersonation scams take many forms: threatening phone calls, phishing emails and demanding letters. Learn more at Reporting Phishing and Online Scams. The IRS does not initiate unsolicited email contact or contact by social media.
An authentic CP2000 notice is used when income reported from third-party sources such as an employer does not match the income reported on the tax return. Unlike the fake, it provides extensive instructions to taxpayers about what to do if they agree or disagree that additional tax is owed. A real notice requests that checks be made out to “United States Treasury.” (Source www.irs.gov)
At One River CPAs, we have formed a special security committee, updated password protocol, continue to have an on-site technology professional monitoring our systems and continue to follow safe practices in safeguarding your data. We password protect your tax return when sent by email and will also redact social security numbers for an additional layer of security. We have ongoing security training in place for our staff. We will call if you send us an attachment that we are not expecting or to let you know we are sending a safe, secure attachment to you.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us! 207-873-1603 or 207-371-8003. Your security is our priority.
About the Author: Lynn Stover is an integral part of the PFBF CPAs tax team and a valued senior tax specialist. She operates primarily from our mid-coast Bath location, meeting with clients for tax planning and preparation. She can be reached via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by the above phone numbers.