Protecting Your Clients
One of the most important tasks of the Vermont Department of Taxes is to protect taxpayers from identity theft and tax fraud. We understand how important it is to tax preparers, too. The Department is diligent in our efforts to stop criminal activity, and we have staff dedicated solely to work on detecting and stopping tax fraud.
First Steps to Protect Your Clients Begins with You
We are providing information and tools collected from many sources that you can use for your anti-fraud efforts. Here are some first steps that you and staff in your company can take:
- Review your tax preparation computer software settings and enable all security measures, especially those settings that require usernames and passwords to access the products.
- Run a security "deep scan" regularly to search for viruses and malware.
- Strengthen passwords for both computer access and software access. Make sure your password is a minimum of eight digits (more is better) with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters and change them often.
- Be alert for phishing scams and stay current on new scams.
- Do not click on links or open attachments from unknown senders.
- Educate all staff members in your company about the dangers of phishing scams in the form of emails, texts, and phone calls.
- Review any software that your employees use to remotely access your network and/or your IT support vendor uses to remotely troubleshoot technical problems and support your systems. Remote access software is a potential target for bad actors to gain entry and take control of a machine.
- Monitor your PTIN activity.
- Refer to the checklist in Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, a Guide for Your Business.
- Review Data Breach Information for Tax Professionals for what actions to take if you become a victim.