John Bullis: Is my information safe at the IRS?
For the Nevada Appeal
Now that many more folks are filing their tax returns electronically, some folks have asked “is my information safe at IRS?”
“Will it be a problem for me that the IRS has my bank account number, etc.?”
I served a couple of years in the Army artillery years ago. One of the things I learned was, is “there is no absolute safety.”
On the other hand, I personally have no worries about my personal information in the IRS files being a problem.
IRS has special rules about any IRS employee using taxpayer information outside of their job or work. There are big penalties for anyone that discloses my information to others outside of the IRS wrongfully. The IRS is audited each year by the Government Accounting Office. They look to see how IRS is running, including keeping taxpayer information safe and confidential.
They have my social security number, my address, my tax returns. The information from banks and stockbrokers is filed with IRS directly, electronically.
The IRS knows where I live and where I work. But with the great Internet, so do many others.
My niece, several years ago, sent me an email where she had searched the Internet and found I like to read books and golf. She had all kinds of information about me that she got on the Internet.
I guess I’ll just learn to live with it. Do watch my bank statements, credit card statements, etc. to be sure there are no problems. I’ve just learned to be careful about shredding papers that have my information on them.
And, I have learned to take a deep breath and “live with it.” If I suffer from identity theft, I’ll take action to get it corrected. Being proactive and subscribing to a watchdog organization (like PPL Identity Theft Shield or Lifelock, etc.) is one of the best things to do.
Our banks are watching the charges on our credit cards a bit. Maybe you have received a telephone call from your bank asking “did you buy this item.”
I believe my information is safe at IRS. I’m not going to worry about it.
I’m just going to enjoy the beautiful weather and go on with my life.
Did you hear “90 percent of what I worry about does not happen? The 10 percent that does happen, I find worrying about it did not help.”
• John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser serving Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs, LLC.