IRS tax data

IRS, industry to share data to fight tax fraud

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced a government-industry information-sharing initiative to fight identity theft and refund fraud.

Working with representatives from the tax industry, the IRS is developing new taxpayer protection initiatives that validate tax return information through information sharing and identify fraud schemes and patterns through analytics.  

The agreement includes the following initiatives: 

  • Tax filers will submit new data elements when filing with tax returns, which will be reviewed by the IRS for indications of fraud.
  • The entire tax industry will share fraud leads with the IRS through aggregated analytical data about their filings.
  • A Refund Fraud Information Sharing and Assessment Center is planned to help reduce taxpayer risk by providing substantial data to law enforcement.
  • Participants agreed to align with the National Institute of Standards and Technology cybersecurity framework.
  • The groups will push for more awareness about the sensitivity of personal, tax and financial data.

These initial initiatives date back to March 19 when IRS Commissioner John Koskinen brought together public and private sector leaders at a Security Summit to tackle identity theft threats and find new ways to stop fraud.

"This agreement represents a new era of cooperation and collaboration among the IRS, states and the electronic tax industry that will help combat identity theft and protect taxpayers against tax refund fraud," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The efforts, he said, will continue to grow from here.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.

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