How protected is your personal tax information?
It is tax season and you have all your records tied up in files and boxes and you drag them to you tax preparer. But what does that person due to keep your personal information safe? Identity theft is at record levels across the nation. Not all tax preparers are equal and some are down right crooks. So Kerry Freeman EA in Anthem has some timely and important advice.
Ask your preparer what is their policy in keep your information safe and confidential. Most tax preparer are subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bailey Act of 1999. This act requires Prepares to give you a written statement as to how your information is kept safe and confidential. As repaired this statement must be given to the taxpayer each year.
Do they get written authorization to disclose your tax information to third parties?
The taxpayer often is looking for loans, IRA’s, and insurance, will need their preparer to fax or mail information to these third parties. The Office of Taxpayer Advocates is leading the way with new rules requiring tax practitioners to get written authorization to disclose and tax information to all third parties. No longer can you just call and give an ok to send this information to so and so over the phone. This discloser gives you the taxpayer certain protections. This also means that some tax prepares who outsource your tax return to other countries must also disclose this to the taxpayer.
How does the preparer handle files and documents?
When you visit your preparer do you see a shredder. Are other client document in plain sight, are other computer screens with private information open and in view. How an office is run tell you how they treat your privacy. Do they have lots of turn over of employees? Go ahead and ask about hiring practice, you should feel secure with very person how looks at your personal information.
Are they under the guidelines of some oversight body or agency?
Lawyers have the Bar, CPA’s have the State board of Accountancy, and Enrolled Agents are under the Office of Professional Responsibility of the IRS. In most states there is no license that govern prepares. So find out who watches over the person that prepares your taxes and gains access to your personal information.
Kerry Freeman Is your Anthem Enrolled Agent. Enrolled Agents are licensed by the U.S. Treasury to represent taxpayer before the IRS. Mr. Freeman Is a Member in good standing with the NAEA (National Association of Enrolled Agents) and the CACEA (Central Arizona Chapter of Enrolled Agents). Mr. Freeman will gladly answer any question by calling 623-518-2157.