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Protect Your Company’s Identity

November 30, 2017

Like so many things in this country, your business is known to government agencies and other businesses such as financial institutions as a number.

Just like you personally are known to those institutions and organizations by your Social Security Number, so is your business known to them by your Employer Identification Number (EIN).

You need that to file your taxes, to apply for loans, credit cards and for other instances when a unique identifier to verify your company’s identity is required.

Hackers know this too.

They know that with your EIN, they are off and running to file fraudulent business registrations, manipulate credit reports, commit banking and tax fraud, and apply for business and vehicle loans and company credit cards, all on your company’s good credit.

In the past year, for example, the IRS has noticed a sharp increase in the number of fraudulent filings of forms 1120, 1120S and 1041 as cyber criminals attempt to obtain data that enables them to file fraudulent tax returns as your business.

The following can be signs that your business has been the victim of identity theft:

  • A request to file an extension is denied because a return with your EIN has already been filed
  • An e-filed return is rejected because a duplicate filing with your EIN is already on file with the IRS
  • An unexpected receipt of a tax transcript or IRS notice doesn’t correspond to anything you have submitted
  • You notice you are no longer receiving expected correspondence from the IRS, which could indicate a hacker has changed your taxpayer address

To learn more about how to protect your business against identity theft, visit the IRS Identity Theft web page and scroll down to the Businesses section.

There, you will find information on W-2 and SSN theft and an identity theft guide for businesses.

 

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