Offshore Preparers OK'd to See SSNs

The IRS modified its final rules regarding the disclosure of a taxpayer’s Social Security number to a tax return preparer located outside the U.S. to allow disclosure under specified circumstances. Previously, the rules had generally required U.S. preparers to redact SSNs from tax return forms and other information transmitted to a foreign preparer.

The IRS decided, however, that if both domestic and foreign preparers’ programs and procedures adequately protect the numbers and other confidential information against unauthorized access or other misuse, redaction is not necessary. Treasury Decision 9409, which modifies TD 9375, was accompanied by Revenue Procedure 2008-35, which in turn supersedes Rev. Proc. 2008-12. Prop. Treas. Reg. § 301.7216-3 and Temp. Treas. Reg. § 301.7216-3T, both issued as part of the recent Treasury decision, allow the disclosure where a taxpayer gives consent and the U.S. preparer verifies “adequate data protection safeguards” are in place. They also clarify that the general prohibition against disclosure pertains only to the 1040 series of forms.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.