Intuit announced security enhancements across its suite of professional tax products, including Intuit Tax Online, ProSeries and Lacerte, as part of the company’s continued work with the Internal Revenue Service, states and industry to combat tax fraud.
The security features provide additional ways to authenticate tax preparers’ identities when signing in and to verify their e-file identification number before electronic filing. Intuit is also offering taxpayers tips in safeguarding themselves and their clients.
Intuit’s specific security enhancements for Intuit Tax Online, ProSeries and Lacerte are:
- Multi-factor authentication, implemented for tax year 2015, to help authenticate user identities and enable secure sign-on for tax professionals. When tax professionals access their account for the first time from a new device, they will be sent a unique six-digit code to their pre-designated device to be input in combination with their password to access their account.
- A requirement that all electronic return originators possess IRS-issued e-file identification numbers before e-filing, with new tax professionals needing IRS documentation of EFIN registration on file before e-filing through Intuit’s products. Intuit will also notify tax preparer customers when it appears their EFIN may have been compromised so they can reinstate it with the IRS.
“With these new security enhancements in place, our professional tax customers can be confident they are providing their clients industry leading standards of protection,” stated David Williams, chief tax officer at Intuit. “Our tax professionals rely on us to deliver technology and resources necessary to help them further protect their information and the information of their valued clients.”
Inuit also provided security tips heading into tax season:
- Shred financial records, including sensitive client information before disposal.
- Restrict access to client files and computers with strong passwords, which should contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Paper files should also be locked under restricted access.
- Beware of phishing scams, which are fraudulent emails sent from criminals to create fake websites and lure users into revealing private account information. Users should be suspicious of unsolicited emails asking for confidential or sensitive information with a link to a website, and should mouse over the link to see in the address appears legitimate. Intuit posts notices for phishing emails on the Intuit Online Security Center.
- Install or update anti-virus software on computers, use the latest version of a web browser, and install security patches and software updates as soon as they are available.
- Educate clients on how to protect themselves online, both on their computer and mobile device, including the creation of strong passwords and being alert to phishing scams.
The Intuit Pro Tax Center offers more resources.