I wanted to keep all of you up to date on our continuing drive to fight tax fraud. As I’ve said before, there is no more important issue to us than the privacy and security of our customers and their information. We said we would help lead the way in confronting this industry-wide problem – and we meant it.
Over the past several months, Intuit has been participating in the IRS Security Summit, a public-private partnership that brings together federal and state governments, industry experts, trade associations and tax preparation companies to create a set of common security standards to protect U.S. taxpayers. Intuit actually proposed the idea for the summit in a letter to the IRS Commissioner earlier this year. We were pleased that the idea was deemed to have merit, and that IRS convened the states and industry to meet together beginning this past March, with the objective of producing a report to the nation by June.
Yesterday I was in Washington, D.C., representing Intuit, as the IRS shared the results of this collaborative effort. Starting in January 2016, government and industry will now utilize the following set of common security standards and data protocols to better protect and safeguard the American taxpayer.
- Leads Reporting (what Intuit calls Suspicious Activity Reporting (SARs)) will be required industry-wide. This reporting relies on anonymous, aggregated submission information and will be instrumental in helping to protect and serve legitimate taxpayers and safeguard their privacy.
- A significantly expanded set of data elements which industry must include in the ‘e-file schema’ of each transmitted tax return so that federal and state governments can better authenticate taxpayers and more rapidly and completely identify suspicious returns at the time of e-filing.
Beyond these measures, government and industry are also adopting the Dept. of Commerce NIST recommendations for a Best Practices security framework and plan to jointly create an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC). The ISAC, a model used in the Financial Services and Aviation industries, will enable more rapid, real time information sharing for threat assessment among federal and state governments and the industry. This will significantly strengthen our efforts to collectively find solutions to fight fraud.
These new common standards and strategic plans create a strong foundation for a deepening partnership between the IRS, the states and industry. They show what we are capable of when we come together with common cause. Yet this is just one step in a continuing, multi-step journey. The criminals will not rest, and neither can we. The Commissioner emphasized yesterday that the Summit process, and the joint working groups that comprise it, will continue. We are fully engaged and committed to support these efforts.
Driving fraud out of the U.S. tax system takes hard work and a continued commitment to our core values and spirit of innovation – and our teams are delivering on that everyday. Thanks to each of you who continue to prove to the world what a great company we are.