Whether your business is law, construction, manufacturing, retail, or government contracting, and you require exit planning, asset protection, or a tax planning solution, our business has been "solving clients' problems" since 1977.

The IRS recently announced increased security for the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) program and client transcript process used by tax professionals.

A nine-digit CAF number is assigned to tax preparers as an extra layer of security when they are interacting with the IRS on a client’s behalf. A reputable tax professional will ask you to fill out the appropriate authorization forms before engaging with the IRS for you. IRS employees will check their CAF to ensure the preparer has this authority in place to act on your behalf and to request disclosure of your return information.

A stolen CAF number may give a fraudster access to transcripts and other sensitive information that they can then use to commit identity theft and other crimes. These increased security measures are meant to reduce this risk. They include suspending suspected compromised CAF numbers pending further review.

The IRS has also taken related security steps to change how tax professionals can order transcripts by phone through the Transcript Delivery System (TDS). Tax professionals must now call the Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) line to request transcripts to be deposited into their Secure Object Repository (SOR) mailbox. If the identity of the caller cannot be verified through enhanced authentication, transcripts will instead be mailed to the taxpayer’s address of record, the IRS explains.

Tax professionals are also being asked to be on the lookout for unsolicited scam emails requesting credential information such as their CAF number, Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) information, or driver’s license.

“With identity theft an ongoing concern, the IRS has taken [these] additional steps needed to protect both tax professionals and their clients given the sensitivity and importance of the information involved,” IRS Return Integrity and Compliance Services Director James Clifford says. “The IRS will continue working with the tax professional community on these issues to minimize [the] burden on practitioners while also working to ensure the safety and security of this information.”

How do you know if you’re a victim of tax-related identity theft? The IRS says to look out for these signs:

  • You get a letter from the IRS inquiring about a suspicious tax return that you did not file.
  • You can’t e-file your tax return because of a duplicate Social Security number.
  • You get a tax transcript in the mail that you did not request.
  • You get an IRS notice that an online account has been created in your name.
  • You get an IRS notice that your existing online account has been accessed or disabled when you took no action.
  • You get an IRS notice that you owe additional tax, must offset a refund, or that you have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
  • IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer you didn’t work for.
  • You’ve been assigned an Employer Identification Number, but you did not request an EIN.

Feel free to contact us with questions.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.