The Internal Revenue Service has revised and updated its publication on how businesses should protect taxpayer data.

The updated version of Publication 4557, “Safeguarding Taxpayer Data - A Guide for Your Business,” in Web format on IRS.gov’s e-file for Tax Professionals page. A PDF version is also in the works.

The target audience for the publication is non-government businesses involved in the preparation and filing of income tax returns. The purpose is to provide information on legal requirements to safeguard taxpayer data.

The revised Publication 4557 replaces an older edition from October 2008 as the IRS faces up to increasing security threats ranging from data breaches to phishing attacks and identity theft.

“Safeguarding taxpayer data is a top priority for the IRS,” said the IRS in an email Thursday to tax professionals. “It is the legal responsibility of government, businesses, organizations and individuals that receive, maintain, share, transmit or store taxpayers’ personal information. This publication has been updated to include information on identity theft, references and important links.”

The IRS plans to send a follow-up email when the downloadable PDF version of the publication becomes available.

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