IRS E-file Security & Privacy Compliance Services



For accountants, CPAs, and any tax preparation professional, protecting client’s sensitive financial and tax data is paramount. Which is precisely why the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has introduced privacy and security guidelines for tax preparation pros when filing electronically.

More specifically, the IRS e-file Security, Privacy and Business Standards are designed to better serve taxpayers by protecting any information collected, processed and stored by online providers of individual income tax returns.

The key objectives of the IRS e-file Security, Privacy and Business Standards:

The key objectives of these standards as stated by the IRS are:

  • Setting minimum encryption standards for electronic transmission of taxpayer data
  • Conducting periodic external vulnerability scans of the taxpayer data environment
  • Protecting against “bulk filing” of fraudulent income tax returns
  • Timely isolation and investigation of potentially compromised taxpayer information
  • Reporting of Security Incidents to the IRS

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Who Needs To Comply With The IRS E-File Security And Privacy Standards?

The Federal Trade Commission requires anyone who handles Federal Taxpayer Information to follow a written security plan to keep that data secure. To this end, all providers of income tax return preparation services must comply with the standards of the E-file Security, Privacy and Business Standards Mandate—to varying extents.

How to Meet IRS E-File Security & Privacy Compliance

To comply with the E-file Security, Privacy and Business Standards Mandate, all providers must meet standard number six, and all online providers must meet all six standards. 

These standards break down as follows:

  1. Online providers must have a current, valid Extended Validation SSL Certificate.
  2. Online providers must undergo weekly third-party network vulnerability scans per the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and retain records of those scans for no less than one year. And if the online provider operates using hosted systems, the host must be PCI DSS compliant.
  3. Online providers who collect, transmit or process taxpayer data via a website must have and follow a written data privacy and safeguard policy. The policy must also include the following statement: “We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with applicable law and federal standards.”
  4. Online providers who operate via a website must protect their website against the bulk filing of fraudulent returns.
  5. Online providers operating through a website must register their domain name with a U.S.-based registrar accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and keep the domain unlocked and public.
  6. All providers must report security incidents no later than the business day following confirmation of the incident. If the provider's website caused the incident, the provider must stop using the website to collect taxpayer information until all issues are rectified.

Besides complying with these standards, providers to whom the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act applies must follow the Financial Privacy and Safeguard Rules, which requires the development and implementation of an information security program suitable to the size of the institution.

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"Our e-filing security privacy services, combined with our online tax security compliance services, make RSI Security one of the most trusted partners in securing all sensitive taxpayer data."

Our IRS E-file Security & Privacy Compliance Solutions

RSI Security’s IRS security compliance solutions ensure tax preparation companies and professionals meet IRS e-file standards today, tomorrow, and well into the future. Our online tax security compliance services include:


Managed Security Services

Providing ongoing managed security services for IRS e-filing security compliance


External Vulnerability Scanning

Conducting external vulnerability scanning in accordance with PCI-DSS


Tailored Security Program

Developing a comprehensive security program to protect taxpayer data


Detection, Response & Reporting

Implementing incident detection, response, and reporting best practices


Awareness & Training

Administering comprehensive cybersecurity awareness and training


What are the Penalties for Non-Compliance?

Failure to meet IRS e-file Security and Privacy Standards can result in the following:

  • Cyber-attacks that could result in the loss of sensitive taxpayer data
  • Potential monetary fines from the IRS and/or other government agencies
  • Loss of business and/or reputational damage to your tax preparation practice
  • IRS audit of your e-filing processes and practices in the result of a breach
  • Suboptimal security practices that leave critical systems and data vulnerable


Your E-filing Security Partner

RSI Security is a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) with over 10 years of experience as top-of-the-line service providers.

By making RSI Security your trusted digital tax compliance services partner you’ll be able to:


Satisfy e-filing external vulnerability scan compliance standards


Quickly present a comprehensive report of security incidents to the IRS


Assure IRS e-file Security and Privacy Standards compliance


Conduct regular trainings about changing security standards for tax preparers

IRS E-file Security & Privacy Compliance FAQs

Yes. IRS E-file follows strict security standards, making use of encryption to secure returns and ensure the privacy and integrity of taxpayer information.

Being IRS E-file compliant means meeting the requirements laid out in the E-file Security, Privacy and Business Standards Mandate.

All providers of IRS E-file services are subject to monitoring, and depending on the specifics of the services provided, random compliance checks should be expected.

Since exact requirements for compliance can differ among providers and assessments for E-file compliance are ongoing, the time it takes to confirm compliance can vary.

RSI can help guide you through the process to ensure you remain compliant through the frequent updates to E-file compliance requirements.


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Start taking steps now to ensure IRS E-file Security & Privacy compliance and avoid costly data-breach-related litigation and damage to business reputation.