Statement of Bill Cobb, president & CEO of H&R Block, following today’s IRS/Industry Summit in Washington, DC on Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud

June 11, 2015

“I am pleased to announce that H&R Block has signed the Memorandum of Understanding, along with other members of the industry. The MOU documents the agreements of the broad-based working group on detecting and mitigating identity theft tax refund fraud. I commend Commissioner Koskinen for his continued leadership of this unprecedented effort to build a public/private partnership to fight this evolving threat.

Our goal for the working group was to implement change to better protect taxpayers. The MOU is a good first step, but it is just a small first step. We must seize the momentum and move beyond a set of predominantly voluntary guidelines.

We must get ahead of the fraudsters. To do that, we need to deal with the most pressing challenge – authentication – by collectively developing industry-wide standards to authenticate filers before submission of the tax returns to the IRS and the States in time for tax season 2016. Looking further out, we need a comprehensive framework that governs the end-to-end process, builds layers of defense against fraud attacks, and is adaptive.

There is still much work to do, and not a lot of time to get it done. H&R Block looks forward to advancing the efforts of the working group, and I ask Commissioner Koskinen to continue his strong leadership by developing a clear mandated way forward to solve the problems that remain. The taxpayers are counting on all of us.”

Bill Cobb, president & CEO of H&R Block

2015 Security Summit: Protecting Taxpayers from Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud

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