The Internal Revenue Service has established new electronic filing rules that it hopes will help quickly identify fraud schemes such as phishing.
The IRS wants authorized e-file providers who fall into one of three categories to submit an Excel spreadsheet by August 9 encrypted using WinZip 9 with password protection. The rule applies to providers who have a Web site to e-file returns, portal companies, and electronic return originators that obtain taxpayer information directly or through third parties to e-file returns.
The spreadsheet must contain the provider's electronic filing identification number and the addresses of all the Web sites the provider uses to e-file federal returns, other portals that go to the provider's e-file software, and any sites used by the provider to obtain taxpayer information. The e-file provider needs to send the password-protected spreadsheet and the password separately to the IRS.
In the future, the IRS said e-file providers would have to send the information to the IRS before their e-file sites become accessible on the Internet. They also have to let the IRS know three business days ahead of time about any changes to the information they've provided.
Sites that don't send in the information to the IRS run the risk of being shut down and having their content seized. If e-file providers do not comply with the rules, the IRS may suspend or expel them from the program.
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