Identity thieves increasingly target tax professionals. A thief who breaches the data of one tax return preparer can gain hundreds or thousands of taxpayers' data. One way you can monitor for suspicious activity is to check how many federal tax returns have been filed with your Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).

As part of the ongoing concerns about security and identity theft, the IRS recommends that you verify the number of returns submitted under your EFIN. Do this routinely and especially during filing season.

Verify your EFIN through IRS e-Services. If you do not have an e-Services account, then your first step would be to go to e-Services and register for an account.

Once you have logged into your e-Services account, follow these steps to verify the number of returns electronically filed with the IRS:

  1. Select your name,
  2. In the left banner, select 'Application',
  3. In the left banner, select 'e-File Application',
  4. Select your name again,
  5. In the listing, select 'EFIN Status' and on this screen you can see the number of returns filed based on return type.

Help safeguard your EFIN. During the filing season, check on your EFIN status to ensure that it is not being used by others. Your e-Services account will give you the number of returns the IRS received, which you can match to your records. The statistics are updated weekly. Please contact the IRS e-help Desk at 866-255-0654 if you see a significantly higher volume than you transmitted.

For more information on EFINs, Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation, provides participation requirements and necessary steps to obtain an EFIN. Publication 1345, Handbook for Authorized IRS e-file Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns, provides rules and requirements for participation in IRS e-file involving individual income tax returns and related forms and schedules.

This is one in a series of special security awareness tax tips for tax professionals. The "Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself" campaign's goal is to raise awareness among tax professionals. It is an initiative of the Security Summit, a joint project by the IRS, states and the tax community to combat identity theft. Because of the sensitive client data held by tax professionals, cybercriminals increasingly are targeting the tax preparation community.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

April 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during March, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

April 15 — Individuals *2017 Filing Deadline: 04-17, 2018*
File a 2017 income tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6 month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. For more information, see Form 4868. Then, file Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ by 10-15.

April 15 — Corporations *2017 Filing Deadline: 04-17, 2018*
File a 2017 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax due. Details

April 15 — Individuals
If you are not paying your 2018 income tax through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first installment of your 2018 estimated tax. Use Form 1040ES.

April 15 — Household Employers
If you paid cash wages of $2,000 or more in 2017 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H Details

April 15 — Corporations
Deposit the first installment of estimated income tax for 2017 Details

April 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 15 — Household employers
If you paid cash wages of $$2,000 or more in 2017 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H (Form 1040). If you are required to file a federal income tax return (Form 1040), file Schedule H (Form 1040) with the return and report any household employment taxes. Report any federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on Schedule H (Form 1040) if you paid total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2016 or 2017 to household employees. Also, report any income tax you withheld for your household employees.

April 30 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2018. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full, you have until 05-10 to file the return.

April 30 — Federal unemployment tax.
Deposit the tax owed through 03-if more than $500.

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