IRS mulls tighter security for electronic filing

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is poised to implement a new security procedure that will make it harder for tax professionals to access the agency’s electronic filing portal.

“In order to gain access to the IRS’s Registered User Portal, which holds a suite of IRS online services, including electronic filing, tax professionals must register with the IRS,” reported David Perera of FierceGovernmentIT.

“Portal registration [would] require a ‘suitability check,’ including a criminal history investigation.”

According to Perera, tax professionals who e-file at least five returns per year are currently permitted to delegate logon access by filing a power of attorney with the tax agency. 

However, the delegated professionals are not yet required to undergo a background check.

The above-mentioned procedure was recommended by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, who claimed that a delegated user could theoretically steal taxpayer data for identity theft purposes and grant access to other “unscrupulous” individuals.

The IRS is expected to implement sustainability checks on delegate users “subject to available funding.”