Experts explain IRS’s data security plan template
Anyone renewing their preparer tax identification number (PTIN) for 2023 will be asked to attest to their data security responsibility and whether they are aware of their obligation to have a data security plan in place to provide protections for all taxpayer information.
Last month, the IRS released a template for tax preparers to use after many requests for more information following the announcement of the data security plan requirement in 2020.
Experts at the National Association of Tax Professionals and Drake Software, who both have served on the IRS Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC), convened last month to discuss the long-awaited IRS guidance, the pros and cons of the IRS’s template and the risks of not having a data security plan.
“Being able to share my experience from serving on ETAAC to help tax preparers in advance of the coming season was rewarding, but I also believe it is crucial for preparers to understand the seriousness of this topic and how detrimental it could be to their firm and their clients if they don’t have a data security plan in place,” Larry Gray, NATP’s government liaison, said. Gray served on ETAAC, IRPAC, IRSAC and the IRS’s Commissioner’s Advisory Group working to amplify the importance of data security.
The group also discussed in the virtual roundtable the background of the IRS Security Summit and how the IRS came to release a sample written information security plan (WISP).
“This is such an important topic, and one that preparers will have to grapple with in the coming years, if they haven’t already,” said Jared Ballew, director of government relations for Drake Software. “Data is now a currency and having a plan in place to protect their clients is critical for tax preparers as we prepare for the 2023 tax season.”
This discussion is available now for tax preparers to watch for free in preparation of the 2023 tax season. Tax preparers must renew their PTIN by Dec. 31 each year.