John Ams, Executive Vice President of the National Society of Accountants (NSA), was appointed to the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The ETAAC provides an organized public forum for discussion of electronic tax administration issues to promote paperless filing of tax returns, which ETAAC believes should be the preferred and most convenient method of filing tax and information returns. ETAAC members convey the public’s perception of the IRS electronic tax administration activities, offer constructive observations about current or proposed policies, programs, and procedures, and suggest improvements.
“As a member of ETAAC, I hope to give voice to the hundreds of thousands of tax professionals who each year use software to file more than 60 percent of all returns and who will be tasked with implementing the procedures and protocols the committee will consider to combat identity theft and enhance cybersecurity,” Ams said.
Ams added that tax professionals are increasingly at risk for cybercrimes since many of them possess sensitive financial information for thousands of clients.
“Tax professionals have been in the forefront of efforts to move toward e-filing because they view it as more secure than regular mail and is convenient when integrated with their tax preparation software. I believe these professionals would also be willing partners in efforts to provide a secure online environment for themselves and their clients if they are made aware of the risks in terms they understand, are provided with solutions – perhaps as suggested best practices – that are easily incorporated into their existing office environments, and can use this as a potential selling point to clients, many of whom are themselves increasingly concerned about identity theft and online security.”