In the last two years professional tax software has gone through changes. The changes primarily are to protect the IRS from fraudulent tax returns and the taxpayers from identity fraud. Tax software is now required to have encrypted social security numbers and requires secure log in every time we use the software.
Technology is rapidly advancing and the IRS must also keep up with the pace. They can no longer be behind the 8 ball of technology. It seems strange that they just required software companies to initiate log in requirements for professionals, as well as, the controls they now have in place to protect taxpayers and themselves from loosing billions of dollars.
The IRS recently started asking for practitioner’s social security numbers when we call the practitioner hotline on behalf of our clients. This seemed to be an extreme measure, as we are assigned PTIN numbers to avoid revealing our social security numbers, as well as, EFIN, CAF, and CPA numbers, but, I have happily complied.
It is amazing to me how quickly the publishing companies came out with tax publications on the new tax law just weeks into January of this year. I also have been thinking lately about how the software companies are going to update the programs for the changes to the tax law. It is amazing to me how well they do that and how they will stream line the programs so it is easy for us practitioner’s.
I wish everyone a great remainder of the current tax season and look forward to learning more and more about the many changes in technology and tax law throughout 2018.