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IRS SECURITY BREACH UPDATE

By Amanda Balbi
September 2, 2015
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In August, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it has identified more attempts to access information about taxpayers. It’s now estimated that the information of approximately 334,000 victims may have been exposed to the hackers—that’s nearly three times its original estimate of 114,000.

 

The hackers accessed records through the IRS’s “Get Transcript” application, where personal taxpayer information is stored, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth, tax filing statuses, and street addresses. Instead of applying for a paper transcript by mail, taxpayers would use the “Get Transcript” application to apply for a digital transcript online.

 

Following the breach, the “Get Transcript” program was shut down, and letters were sent to the 114,000 people originally affected. Now the IRS will be sending letters to the additional affected individuals and offering credit monitoring services.

 

In May, the IRS published a “Questions and Answers” page on its website regarding the data breach. It stated: “The IRS is taking several steps, including marking the accounts of affected taxpayers on our core tax account system to protect them against identity theft if someone else tries to file a tax return in their name, both right now and in 2016.”

 

 

Amanda Balbi is copy editor of Strategic Finance magazine. You can reach her at abalbi@imanet.org.
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