Windows 7 Should No Longer Be Used for Tax Preparation

Post Date: 12/19/19
Last Updated: 12/19/19

Summary

Cross References
- https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-windows-7-support
- https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/financial-institutions-customer-information-complying
- https://www.thetaxbook.com/updates/TheTaxBook/Updates/2018-08-06_Safeguards_Rule.pdf

Microsoft has announced that support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020. A Windows 7 PC will still work, but it may become more vulnerable to security risks.

Tax professionals are required to follow the Federal Trade Commission's Safeguards Rule. The Safeguards Rule requires financial institutions (including tax professionals) to protect the consumer information they collect. The Safeguards Rule was covered in detail on this website in an August 6, 2018 news article entitled "Safeguards Rule."

That article notes that storing customer data on a computer connected to the internet that is running Windows XP, which is no longer supported or updated for the latest threats is a violation of the Safeguards Rule. As of January 14, 2020, the same will be true for a computer connected to the internet that is running Windows 7.
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