What to Do If You Suffer a Data Breach or Other Security Incident

Should you experience a data compromise, there are certain basic steps you should take. Preliminary steps include:

Contact the IRS and law enforcement:

  • Internal Revenue Service – Report data theft to your local IRS Office. They should notify IRS Criminal Investigation and others within the agency on your behalf. Speed is critical. If reported quickly, the IRS can take steps to block fraudulent returns.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation – Contact your local office.
  • Secret Service – Contact your local office (if directed).
  • Local police – File a police report on the data breach.

Contact states in which you prepare state returns:

Contact experts:

  • Security expert – They can determine the cause and scope of the breach, what to do to stop the breach and prevent further breaches from occurring.
  • Insurance company – Report the breach and check if your insurance policy covers data breach mitigation expenses.

Other services:

  • Federal Trade Commission offers tips and templates for those  that suffer data compromise.
  • Web site/client portal – It’s possible that your passwords may have been compromised and need to be reset.
  • Credit/ID theft protection agency
  • Credit bureaus – Notify them if there is a compromise.


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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.

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