“For the self-employed and owners of small businesses, whose time and energies are devoted to growing the company, data security often falls in priority, and it shouldn’t,” said Indiana Department of Revenue Commissioner Adam Krupp. “Protecting your business and your clients’ financial data is critical to averting the kind of disaster that could tank your business dreams.”
Identity thieves have long made use of stolen Employer Identification Numbers to create fake W-2 Forms to file with fraudulent individual tax returns. Fraudsters also use these numbers to open new lines of credit or obtain credit cards. Now, they are using company names and these numbers to file fraudulent returns.
As with phony individual returns, there are signs to indicate identity theft. Businesses, estate and trust filers should be alert to potential identity theft and contact the department if they experience any of these issues:
• A request for an extension to file is rejected because a return with the Employer Identification or Social Security Number is already on file.
• An e-filed return is rejected because of a duplicate EIN/SSN is already on file with the IRS.
• An unexpected receipt of a tax transcript or an IRS notice that doesn’t correspond to anything submitted by the filer.
• Failure to receive expected and routine correspondence from the IRS because the thief has changed the address.
For small businesses looking for a place to start on security, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has produced a reference guide on cybersecurity. For more information visit www.nist.gov.