Taxes and Two-Factor

They say nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes, and April 15 will be here before we know it. As you collect your receipts, tax forms, and Tylenol, it may be time for a refresher course on a security feature that affects access to Miami’s electronic W2 forms: Two-Factor Authentication.

Two-Factor Authentication (TFA) reduces the potential of security breaches and theft around certain sensitive resources. TFA means that two items (factors) are required to access protected resources. These two factors areCollage representing tax forms and calendar date of April 15

  • Something you know — your Miami password; and
  • Something you have — a single-use verification code, usually generated on a smartphone app or obtained via text or voice message.

Currently, only two situations require all employees to use TFA:

  • When they access tax forms (such as W2s).
  • When they change direct deposit information.

If you are not yet enrolled in TFA, visit Enrollment takes about ten minutes, and you can choose the delivery methods and backups for retrieving codes with which you are most comfortable.

If you are a smartphone or tablet user, you can download the Google Authenticator app (available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry) and configure it to deliver TFA codes. If you own multiple devices, enroll all of them at the same time to receive your single-use verification codes at your convenience.

How-to Two-Factor

For up-to-date information, including tutorials and video resources, visit Support is also available from the Department of Human Resources in Roudebush Hall, Room 15 and from the IT Services Support Desk at 513-529-7900 or

Tax Scams

And, while we are talking about the IRS, tax season is also a big time for scam artists who want to part you from your money.


  • The IRS will never contact you via the telephone, email, or text.
  • The IRS will never aggressively insist that you make immediate payment via pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. You will always receive written notice and have the opportunity to question or appeal any ruling that you owe taxes.
  • The IRS will never threaten to bring in local law-enforcement to arrest you if you don’t pay.
  • The IRS never asks for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is a volunteer group that advises the IRS, but they will never contact you via email.

New on the Scene

This month the IRS reports that thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communication.

New scam alerts include:

  • There is no such thing as a “Federal Student Tax” and anyone contacting you demanding payment is a scammer.
  • The IRS will never request payment in the form of iTunes or other gift cards.
  • Beware of email messages that appear to be from someone in the tax industry. Never provide your personal information in response.

For detailed information about current tax scams, check out the IRS website.