The Security Summit—a partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry—has released a 29-page document titled “Creating a Written Information Security Plan for Your Tax & Accounting Practice (WISP).” (IR 2022-147, 8/9/2022)
According to the IRS, the new sample security plan was designed to help tax professionals, especially those with smaller practices, protect their data and information.
The release of the document is a significant step by the Security Summit towards bringing the vast majority of tax professionals into compliance with federal law which requires them to prepare and implement a data security plan. The partnership was led by its Tax Professionals Working Group in developing the document.
The WISP is a “guide to walk tax pros through the many considerations needed to create a written plan to protect their businesses and their clients, as well as comply with federal law,” said Carol Campbell, director of the IRS Return Preparer Office and co-lead of the Security Summit tax professional group. “It is not intended to be the final word in Written Information Security Plans, but it is intended to give tax professionals a place to start in understanding and attempting to draft a plan for their business,” he noted.
“There’s no way around it for anyone running a tax business,” said Jared Ballew, co-lead for the Security Summit tax professional team and incoming chair of the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee. “The sample provides a starting point for developing your plan, addresses risk considerations for inclusion in an effective plan and provides a blueprint of applicable actions in the event of a security incident, data losses and theft,” he added.
Tax professionals should keep in mind that a security plan should be appropriate to the company’s size, scope of activities, complexity, and the sensitivity of the customer data it handles.
The WISP is available here.
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