|[January 24, 2014]
Efile4biz.com Keeps Data Secure from Growing Identity Theft Threats
SUNRISE, Fla. --(Business Wire)--
As the IRS struggles to curb rising tax-identity theft rates, business
tax e-filing service efile4biz.com is protecting its users by taking
every possible precaution to keep stored data from falling into the
Tax-related identity theft on the rise
In 2012, the IRS identified over 1.8 million incidents of identity
theft, a 78% increase over 2011 and more than four times the number
reported in 2010. The number could be even higher in 2013, given that
IRS investigations of tax-related identity theft increased 66% last year.
And the reality may be even worse: the number of actual incidents is
"significantly greater than the amount the IRS detects and prevents,"
according to a 2012 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax
Administration (TIGTA), an independent office in charge of overseeing
Department of Treasury matters involving the IRS. A follow-up report
estimates that the IRS may have issued more than $3.6 billion in refunds
to identity thieves in 2012 alone.
SSNs and TINs must be protected
In the most common tax identity fraud scenario, a thief uses a stolen
Social Security Number (SSN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN) to file
a fake tax return and claim a refund. "Social Security Numbers are like
gold to identity thieves," says Christian Ferris, Director of Customer
Experience at efile4biz.com. "They need to be protected at all costs."
That burden of protection extends to business owners and accountants
preparing to file
1099s online, according to Ferris. "As an employer, you've been
entrusted with a highly sensitive piece of information. Youhave to
treat it that way when preparing your tax information returns." That
includes, for example, being cautious when entering employee or
contractor data on e-filing websites.
"The problem is that the e-filing industry is under a self-governing
model when it comes to data security," says Ferris. "Many of the e-file
websites are mom-and-pop businesses with homegrown websites, printing
Social Security Numbers on forms in their garages," he points out. "They
don't have the resources to invest in top-notch security technologies.
And they don't have the expertise to keep data secure against hackers."
Look for 'multiple layers' of security
The key, says Ferris, is to seek out an e-file provider that uses
"multiple layers of security" to keep identity data safe. As an example,
efile4biz.com uses state-of-the-art encryption technology from the
instant the user enters data on the website, and all the way through the
printing, mailing and e-filing process. "We use the security technology
the government recommends for websites handling sensitive data," says
"But that's not enough for us," explains Ferris. "We've also been
audited and certified by an independent organization to make sure we are
up to the Service Organization Control (SOC) standards set by American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)." The certification is
only awarded to organizations that implement strict end-to-end business
technologies and processes to protect customer data.
"Even our print facility is highly secure," says Ferris. "It's one of
the few print-and-mail facilities in the country authorized by the IRS
to print tax forms." And for recipients who would rather not have their
1099s and W-2s mailed at all, efile4biz.com offers an e-delivery option.
"If you provide an email address for your recipients, we'll give them
the option to download their forms via a secure link instead of sending
it by mail. That way, they get to choose how they receive their forms."
"We know we're dealing with very sensitive data, and we want our
customers to rest assured that it's safe with us," said Ferris. "That's
why we've gone to great lengths to ensure it is."
Industry leader and IRS-authorized e-file provider, efile4biz.com
(previously eFileforBusiness.com) has made online processing of 1099s
and W-2s more convenient and economical than paper forms and installed
software. Efile4biz.com offers comprehensive, front-to-back processing
of tax information returns, including printing and mailing, optional
electronic delivery to your recipients, and electronic filing with the
IRS and SSA. Visit efile4biz.com.
Efile4biz.com is a member of the HRdirect family of brands. HRdirect
brands include Poster Guard® Compliance Protection (the nation's leading
labor law poster replacement service), G.Neil® (the nation's leading
provider of employee management products), TrackSmart.com™ (online
employee recordkeeping and attendance tracking for small businesses),
and FMLA101.com (online tool for managing employee leave under the
Family Medical Leave Act). For more information, visit HRdirect.com.
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