IRS, States and Tax Prep Companies Launching Security Awareness Campaign for Taxpayers

IRS, States and Tax Prep Companies Launching Security Awareness Campaign for Taxpayers

The Internal Revenue Service is beginning the next round of its battle against tax-related identity theft by debuting a public awareness campaign to persuade more taxpayers to safeguard their personal information, in conjunction with tax preparation companies and state tax authorities.

The new public awareness campaign—known as “Taxes. Security. Together.”—was announced Thursday during a meeting of the Security Summit, an effort the IRS organized earlier this year, bringing together state tax officials with major tax prep chains and tax software vendors. The campaign will provide important tips and reminders by email Tax Tips and YouTube videos to taxpayers to keep their personal information safe. 

“This is a powerful partnership,” said IRS commissioner John Koskinen. “We’ve made a great deal of progress for the upcoming tax season, and it shows just how much we can accomplish working together. But to keep making progress, there is another partner we need to bring on board, and that’s the taxpaying public.”

The education campaign will complement the expanded series of protections the IRS, states and tax industry are putting in place for the start of the 2016 filing season to address tax-related identity theft.

The campaign will continue through the April tax deadline. Besides emails and videos, the joint consumer campaign includes local events across the country. Several IRS publications have been added or updated to help taxpayers and tax professionals. The information will also be shared across, state web sites and platforms used by the tax software community and others in the tax community.

"The governments and industry are taking new steps to protect taxpayers,” said David Sullivan, tax administrator for the Rhode Island Division of Taxation and immediate past president of the Federation of Tax Administrators. “To build on this even further, we are joining forces to share important information across our websites—whether it's at the state level, in the tax industry or at the IRS. This is an unprecedented collaborative effort for tax administration.” Read more on Accounting Today.