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Payroll accountants: did your boss ask for employee data?

Maybe…but maybe not!

The IRS reports some companies and employees recently fell victim to a new phishing email aimed at human resource or payroll departments.

The “spoof” email appears to come from a company officer that requests the payroll department sends him or her a list of employees, including sensitive information such as name, address, social security number and birthdate.

The email may also request a summary of each employee’s payroll information, or actual (scanned) copies of the W-2s issued.

Criminals use this information to file fraudulent tax returns and claim refunds. The victim may remain unaware of the problem until the IRS rejects the filing of his or her true return.

If you received one of these emails, confirm if your boss actually requested information, especially if he or she usually doesn’t. Your cautious approach may save the company and its employees a huge headache!

IRS identity theft victims may experience long delays receiving their actual refunds as the IRS differentiates the correct and fake tax return.

For more information, see the IRS’ publication Safeguarding Taxpayer Data.

If you need a tax accountant team you can trust to guard your data, contact Patrick & Robinson CPAs for this and other tax-related issues: or (904) 396-5400.

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