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APA Compliance Update

IRS Warns of a New Tactic to Trick Payroll Professionals Into Giving Out Payroll Data The IRS is alerting payroll and human resource professionals of a new phishing scheme designed to trick them into giving out payroll data. In a March 1 news release, the IRS explains that the new scheme involves fraudulent email messages that appear to be from a company executive requesting personal information on employees [IR-2016-34, 3-1-15]. For additional information, see this month's Payroll Currently. The

IRS reports that it has seen a surge in phishing schemes this year and that several payroll and human resources offices have already been victimized by this particular scheme. The victims mistakenly emailed payroll data including Forms W-2 containing employees' social security numbers (SSNs) and other personally identifiable information to cybercriminals posing as company executives. In this scheme, the "CEO" sends an email to a company payroll office employee and requests a list of employees and their information including SSNs.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen warns that, "If your CEO appears to be emailing you for a list of company employees, check it out before you respond. Everyone has a responsibility to remain diligent about confirming the identity of people requesting personal information about employees."

Raising awareness of the need to protect data The IRS, state tax agencies, and tax industry professionals are working to raise awareness of the need to protect personal, financial, and tax data in a public awareness campaign – Taxes. Security. Together. – to encourage everyone to do more to protect data. The IRS has a webpage that provides information and suggestions to help taxpayers, tax preparers, and businesses keep information safe. IRS Publication 4524, Taxes. Security. Together. Security Awareness for Taxpayers, also provides guidance on preventing identity theft. Your road to multi-state compliance begins here. Register today for Payroll Issues for Multi-State Employers – 15 classes offered nationwide and as 4-part webinar.