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IRS Tax TipsFebruary 22, 2024

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Issue Number:  Tax Tip 2024-11


Tax pros: Watch out for EFIN scams

A recurring scam this filing season targets tax professionals with a spearphishing email to collect their Electronic Filing Identification Numbers. Tax pros should be alert to this scam to protect their client data.

How the scam works
The scammer poses as a tax software provider and emails the tax pro with a request they provide their EFIN information by fax. When the tax pro faxes back their EFIN information, the scammer uses the information to steal client data and file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.

If tax pros receive a EFIN scam email
Preparers who receive these emails should not respond to the email or follow the directions in the email. They should report it immediately.

How to report
Tax pros who receive a tax-related scam email should let the IRS know. Tax pros can also:

• Notify the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report an IRS impersonation scam.
• Save the email and send it as an attachment to phishing@irs.gov.
• Report the phishing email to the tax software preparation provider being impersonated.
• Report it to their local IRS Stakeholder Liaison as soon as possible if data theft may have occurred. IRS Stakeholder Liaison staff will let the appropriate IRS offices know to take steps to block fraudulent returns in the clients’ names and assist tax pros through the process.

The correct way to request EFIN information
Requests for EFIN information should be handled through the appropriate tax software preparation provider’s portal after the request has been verified.

Keep client data safe
Tax pros should watch for phishing scams that seek EFINs, Preparer Tax Identification Numbers or e-Services usernames and passwords. Find out more about keeping clients’ info safe at the Identity Theft Information for Tax Professionals page of IRS.gov.

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