IRS Written Information Security Plan

Why Do You Need a Written Information Security Plan (WISP)?

A Written Information Security Plan is required by law for tax return preparers. If you prepare taxes, you need a WISP to protect taxpayer information.

Legal and regulatory compliance

WISP ensures compliance with various regulatory requirements around data protection and industry-specific mandates.

Protection of Client Confidentiality

Implementing a Written Information Security Plan is crucial to protect the confidentiality of client information and mitigate the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, etc.

Vulnerability Assessment

A WISP helps identify and assess potential vulnerabilities in your information systems and networks to prevent sensitive client data from getting compromised.

Why Choose Verito’s IRS Written Information Security Plan?


Without the Written Information Security Plan template, accounting professionals can expect to spend over 20 hours developing an accountant data security plan from scratch. By utilizing our WISP template, your time investment will be significantly reduced.

Improved Efficiency

Accountants tasked with creating a data security plan typically spend 10-20 hours without the assistance of a security plan template. Our WISP template streamlines the process, allowing them to complete this task more efficiently.

Simplified WISP Creation

Our Written Information Security Plan template has undergone rigorous evaluation. You can ensure that your WISP adheres to the industry-best practices and meets the necessary standards.

Improved Consistency and Compliance

Developing an information security plan from scratch can lead to inconsistencies and potential non-compliance with regulatory requirements. Verito’s WISP template provides a structured framework that ensures consistency throughout the plan, helping you meet the necessary compliance standards and reduce the risk of overlooking crucial security measures and regulatory obligations.

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What exactly is a Written Information Security Plan?

A Written Information Security Plan (WISP) is a formal document that outlines an organization's approach to protecting sensitive information and maintaining the security of its data systems. It serves as a roadmap for implementing effective information security practices and safeguarding confidential data, mitigate risks, and comply with relevant legal and regulatory requirements..

What is the purpose of the IRS Written Information Security Plan?

The purpose of a WISP is to establish a systematic and proactive approach to information security. It ensures that appropriate measures are in place to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure, or destruction. All this helps in mitigating the risk of data breaches, cyber-attacks, and other security incidents by promoting a culture of security awareness and providing guidelines for incident response and recovery.

Is it difficult to make a WISP by oneself?

Creating a Written Information Security Plan can be challenging, especially for individuals without prior experience or knowledge in information security. Developing a comprehensive and effective WISP requires an understanding of relevant laws and regulations, industry best practices, risk assessment methodologies, and technical security controls. It involves identifying and assessing potential vulnerabilities, establishing policies and procedures, and addressing various aspects of information security.

While it is possible to create a WISP independently, it can be time-consuming and may require significant research and expertise. That is where engaging with professionals or utilizing reputable templates and resources can streamline the process and ensure the WISP's quality and effectiveness.

Does an accounting/tax firm need a WISP?

Accounting and tax firms need a Written Information Security Plan to comply with legal regulations, safeguard client confidentiality, mitigate cybersecurity risks, and build trust. A WISP provides a comprehensive framework to implement information security measures and protect sensitive financial/personal data, which is essential for the firm's operations and maintaining client trust.

What can happen if an accounting/tax firm does not have a WISP?

If an accounting or tax firm does not have a Written Information Security Plan in place, several negative consequences can occur, such as:

  • Legal and regulatory consequences

Without a WISP, the firm may fail to meet legal and regulatory requirements, leading to potential penalties, fines, or legal liabilities. Non-compliance with data protection laws, such as the GLBA or HIPAA, can also result in severe consequences that can harm the firm's reputation and financial stability.

  • Data breaches and cyber attacks

The absence of a WISP increases the vulnerability of the firm's systems and sensitive client data to cyber threats. The firm becomes an attractive target for hackers, which increases the risk of data breaches, unauthorized access, theft, or disclosure of confidential information. This can lead to significant financial losses, reputational damage, and loss of client trust.

  • Hefty fines and penalties

The Federal Trade Commission has enforced a rule across different regulatory sectors, and non-compliance with this rule carries significant penalties including a fine of $100,000 on the violating firm for each instance of non-compliance. Besides this, individual members of the firm are personally liable and may be required to pay a fine of $10,000 for each violation.

Title 18 of the United States Code establishes that individuals who violate this rule may face imprisonment for up to five years per violation. Both fines and imprisonment can be imposed on the violating party.

"My experience with Verito’s exceptional WISP template was way better than expected. I was struggling to develop a comprehensive security plan on my own. Then, Verito's template came to my rescue and saved me countless hours. It was well-structured, easy to understand, and covered all the essential components required for my robust security plan. It also guided me through the process, ensuring that I didn't miss any critical elements.”

Max Archor
Enrolled Agent

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