IRS has issued a statement indicating that criminals gained unauthorized access to information on approximately 100,000 tax accounts through IRS’s “Get Transcript” application. The data included taxpayers’ Social Security information, date of birth, and street address.
The matter is under review by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration as well as the IRS’s Criminal Investigation unit, and the “Get Transcript” application has been shut down temporarily.
IRS has taken a number of steps to protect taxpayers:
- Sending a letter to all of the approximately 200,000 taxpayers whose accounts had attempted unauthorized accesses, notifying them that third parties appear to have had access to taxpayer Social Security numbers and additional personal financial information from a non-IRS source before attempting to access the IRS transcript application. Although half of this group did not actually have their transcript account accessed because the third parties failed the authentication tests, the IRS is still taking an additional protective step to alert taxpayers.
- Offering free credit monitoring for the approximately 100,000 taxpayers whose Get Transcript accounts were accessed to ensure this information isn’t being used through other financial avenues. Taxpayers will receive specific instructions so they can sign up for the credit monitoring. The IRS noted that these outreach letters will not request any personal identification information from taxpayers. In addition, the IRS is marking the underlying taxpayer accounts on its core processing system to flag for potential identity theft to protect taxpayers going forward – both right now and in 2016.
These letters will include additional details for taxpayers about the credit monitoring and other steps.
The IRS notes that this incident only involves its application involving transcripts. It does not involve other IRS systems, such as core taxpayer accounts, or other applications, such as Where’s My Refund.
The Rolling Stones play in the Twin Cities June 3rd. A family affair for me. More to report next week…