IRS published confidential taxpayer information
The IRS has announced that it has inadvertently published confidential information of about 120,000 taxpayers.
The data released was from IRS Form 990-T. The 990-T is used to report an exempt organization’s income tax return.
The IRS said they are required to publicly disclose this information for 501(c)(3) organizations: however, other information was inadvertently published for a subset of non-501(c)(3) s, which are not subject to public disclosure.
The IRS said it would contact the impacted people in the coming weeks. The acting assistant secretary Anna Canfield Roth sent a letter to Congress to comply with the requirements for this breach. Roth reported that the compromised information “did not include Social Security numbers, individual income information, detailed financial account data, or other sensitive information that could impact a taxpayer’s credit.”
Roth wrote. “The Treasury Department has instructed the IRS to conduct a prompt review of its practices to ensure necessary protections are in place to prevent unauthorized data disclosures.”
The information was able to be downloaded beginning sometime in 2021. The IRS said in its statement that it was “continuing to review this situation.”
An IRS employee recently discovered the error. The IRS halted the problem by removing the errant files and replacing the files with updated ones.
The problem was caused by a human coding error last year.
Since the leak involved over 100,000 people, the issue is considered “a major incident” according to OMB’s Guidance on Federal Information Security and Privacy Management Requirements.
The IRS has already been under fire for a still-unexplained leak of wealthy people’s tax information. And more recently, it has been questioned why a pair of prominent critics of President Donald Trump was selected for a rare type of audit during his administration.
People who filed partnership, corporate, and personal income tax returns were not affected by the data breach.
If you are concerned that your info might have been exposed, the IRS will soon notify people whose information was accidentally published.
All taxpayers are now eligible for Identity Protection PINS. The PINS help prevent thieves from using your social security number to file a fraudulent tax return. After creating an IP PIN, it must be entered on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays.
You can get a PIN by going to IRS.gov/IPPIN and using the Get an IP PIN tool.
David Zubler is a tax accountant and Enrolled Agent in East Tennessee, providing tax strategies and representing clients before the IRS and has over 25 years of tax experience. He is the author of six tax books and has shared tax advice on national TV. He is the founder and president of Your Tax Care. The company provides business and tax education, including David’s one-minute tax tip radio recordings at YourTaxCare.com. David can be reached at (865) 363-3019 or contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.