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IRS Warns Tax Pros of Scams Targeting EFINs

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Feb 9, 2024

The IRS and its Security Summit partners have raised an alert about fraudulent mails that impersonate various software companies in an attempt to steal Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs).

In a warning to tax professionals, the IRS said that scammers are posing as tax software providers and requesting EFIN documents from them, claiming that this information is needed as required verification to transmit tax returns. This information, if provided, can be used to steal client data and tax preparers' identities, creating the potential for the scammers to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.

"With filing season underway, scammers use this time of year to target tax professionals as well as taxpayers in hopes of stealing information that can be used to try filing fraudulent tax returns,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “The IRS and the Security Summit partners have noticed a new surge of an EFIN scam email that targets professionals. This scam serves as a powerful reminder that tax professionals should ensure strong security at their practices, including reminding employees to be careful with any emails coming in that could be posing as an official communication. A little extra caution can mean a world of difference for tax professionals during this busy period."

The scam email includes a U.S.-based area code for faxing EFIN documents and also provides instructions on obtaining EFIN documentation from the IRS e-Services site if unavailable. Warning signs of this scam include inconsistencies in the email wording and a German footer in the email.

The IRS provided an example of such a fraudulent email.

Tax pros who receive the scam email should notify the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to report the IRS impersonation scam. They should also save the email and send it as an attachment to

The IRS will hold special webinars for tax professionals, during which agency cybersecurity experts will share information on what it called “this fast-moving scam.”  

In the meantime, the IRS advised tax pros to continue watching for this scam, as well as others. Tax pros should also report any suspected data theft to their local IRS Stakeholder Liaison as soon as possible.

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