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Steps for Tax Professionals if W-2 Employee Data or Tax Return Data is Stolen (Including Phishing and Unauthorized System Takeover)

  1. Contact the IRS and local law enforcement
    1. Internal Revenue Service.  Liaisons will notify IRS Criminal Investigation and others within the agency on your behalf.  For Michigan, contact or 216-415-3518. 
    2. Contact Michigan Cyber Command Center (MC3) at
    3. Local city/county police – To file a police report on the data breach.
  2. Contact states in which you prepare state returns
    1. For Michigan, contact Department of Treasury, Office of Privacy and Security at
    2. Any breach of personal information could have an effect on the victim’s tax accounts with all the states as well as the IRS.  You should email the Federation of Tax Administrators at to get information on how to report victim information to the states.
  3. Contact experts
    1. Security expert – to determine the cause and scope of the breach, to stop the breach and to prevent further breaches from occurring.
    2. Insurance company – to report the breach and to check if your insurance policy covers data breach mitigation expenses
  4. Contact affected staff and clients
    • Send an individual letter to all victims to inform them of the breach but work with law enforcement on timing.


Other Resources: