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A Taxing Situation

Posted: January 30, 2014

As tax season approaches AgIT urges you to prepare and submit your taxes with pencils and paper - or on personally owned computers!

With W2 statements on the way, and publishers of tax software filling our mailboxes with offers for software and online tax services it is tempting to think of using your fast and powerful Penn State computer and internet connection to get this miserable civic duty out of the way.  Ag IT urges you to resist that temptation!  Penn State computers are not good places to store your personal tax information, and it is an inappropriate use of university resources to do so.

Completing your annual tax responsibilities requires the use of your personally identifiable information (PII) in some of the most clear and obvious ways.  You will be entering your name, address, Social Security number at the very minimum.  Making or receiving electronic payments or deposits will cause you to enter banking information.  Neither you nor Penn State wants to have this information stored on a Penn State owned computer or passing through a Penn State network – to do so puts both Penn State and you at great risk in the case of a compromise.

Here is an interesting article on staying safe with online tax filing that you may find valuable or interesting: http://mashable.com/2013/02/19/stay-safe-online-during-tax-season/

The Bottom Line:

There are many ways to calculate and pay taxes – choose the one that suits your personal situation the best and does not involve Penn State equipment – not the copiers, printers, networks or computers.