The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has forced a better part of the world to work from home. The workforce of the IRS is also largely working from home, as a result of which revised tax filing guidelines have been released in recent times. The IRS is now going to accept e-signatures and is processing tax filings and related documents online. That being said, sending sensitive tax information through email poses certain risks. It is, therefore, essential that you stay informed on how to send your data securely to the IRS and ensure that it stays protected. Continuing on the subject, in this post, we share a few guidelines on keeping your data safe when e-filing. Take a look.
1. Stay Aware of Who is Handling your Data
It is important that you are fully aware of who is handling your data and whether they are following the latest data security practices to ensure that your data is safe from potential security breaches. When finalizing an accounting or tax preparer for handling your e-filing, ask them where they would be storing your data, who has access to your data, how would your data be shared with you, and if there is any backup measure in place.
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2. Learn About the Encryption Being Used
Any online communication that involves file transfers must be secured through strong encryption standards. This way, you can stay assured that your data is immune from malware attacks and theft. Generally speaking, 256-bit AES and SSL/TLS are two commonly implemented encryption standards when dealing with sensitive information such as your tax information. Check whether the applications used by your tax preparer have the aforementioned encryption standards included.
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3. Don’t Trust Emails for Sharing Sensitive Data
While most well-known email providers employ various encryption techniques, sharing sensitive information that includes your finances over email may be a risky venture. Using encrypted file-sharing services, at such a juncture, can help you send your tax documents without any data security compromises. Although emails can be used for normal exchanges with your tax preparer, sharing sensitive documents calls for an encrypted file-sharing service.
E-filing requires extra diligence and awareness as you are responsible for ensuring that your data stays secure. The Coronavirus crisis has persuaded the IRS to make exceptions and modify its operations for now. It shouldn’t, however, discourage taxpayers from resolving their IRS tax problems immediately. If you need help with IRS debt relief, penalty abatement, installment agreement, or tax lien assistance in Texas, reach out to our team of seasoned IRS tax attorneys in Dallas/Fort Worth. For a no-obligation consultation, simply call (972) 484-0829 or fill out our contact form and we will take it from there.