On Tuesday, the IRS announced that criminals gained accedd to information on approximately 1000,000 tax accounts through the IRS “Get Transcript” application. The individuals gained access to taxpayer-specific information from non-IRS sources including Social Security info, date of birth and street address.
Statement from the IRS:
“These third parties gained sufficient information from an outside source before trying to access the IRS site, which allowed them to clear a multi-step authentication process, including several personal verification questions that typically are only known by the taxpayer. The matter is under review by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration as well as the IRS’ Criminal Investigation unit, and the “Get Transcript” application has been shut down temporarily. The IRS will provide free credit monitoring services for the approximately 100,000 taxpayers whose accounts were accessed. In total, the IRS has identified 200,000 total attempts to access data and will be notifying all of these taxpayers about the incident.
As always, the IRS takes the security of taxpayer data extremely seriously, and we are working aggressively to protect affected taxpayers and continue to strengthen our protocols.
In addition, to disabling the Get Transcript application, the IRS has taken a number of immediate steps to protect taxpayers, including:
- 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. That’s because malicious actors acquired sensitive financial information from a source outside the IRS about these households that led to the attempts to access the transcript application.
- 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 emphasizes these outreach letters will not request any personal identification information from taxpayers. In addition, the IRS is marking the underlying taxpayer accounts on our core processing system to flag for potential identity theft to protect taxpayers going forward — both right now and in 2016.
These letters will be mailed out starting later this week and will include additional details for taxpayers about the credit monitoring and other steps. At this time, no action is needed by taxpayers outside these affected groups.”
For more information visit: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Statement-on-the-Get-Transcript-Application
Davis and Hodgdon Associates CPAs has been assisting nonprofits, individuals and businesses with tax, accounting, and financial planning services in the Burlington Vermont Metro area for more than 20 years. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call 802.878.1963 or email [email protected].