IRS Tax Return Data Breach – Will This Impact You?
Over 100,000 taxpayers’ tax return information was taken from the IRS data and traced to somewhere in Russia. The criminals used an online tool provided by the IRS through which taxpayers are able to obtain transcripts of their previously filed tax returns. This service is called “Get Transcript” and is available to anyone that has the right information to access an individual’s transcripts. Unfortunately, the information needed to access this service is readily available from other online sources.
23 million legitimate taxpayers were able to successfully download their tax history, however, more than 100,000 accounts were breached along with another 100,000 attempted breaches that failed. It’s assumed that the criminals’ purpose was to obtain taxpayer information in order to file fraudulent tax returns which allowed them to obtain illegitimate refunds.
The IRS has shut down the online version of “Get Transcript” service and now the transcripts can only be acquired by mail, which takes up to 10 days. All taxpayers whose accounts were accessed, and the additional 100,000 accounts to which access was attempted but failed, will be notified very soon. The IRS is offering free credit monitoring and repair services to those who were affected. All 200,000+ accounts will also be flagged so that fraudulent tax returns cannot be filed.
Remember, once personal data is online, it is very difficult to remove it. If you think you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, you should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490, extension 245 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. local time). You should also complete and file Form 14039 – IRS Identity Theft Affidavit.
If you believe your tax information has been compromised, please call our office immediately so we can assists you with this problem.