The IRS announced recently that criminals used taxpayer-specific data acquired from non-IRS sources to gain unauthorized access to information on approximately 100,000 tax accounts through IRS’ “Get Transcript” application.
The IRS will notify taxpayers after third parties gained unauthorized access to this information. This data included Social Security information, date of birth and street address.
The IRS takes the security of taxpayer data extremely seriously, and they are working aggressively to protect affected taxpayers and continue to strengthen its protocols.
The IRS determined late last week that unusual activity had taken place on the application, which indicates that unauthorized third parties had access to some accounts on the transcript application. Following an initial review, it appears that access was gained to more than 100,000 accounts through the "Get Transcript" application.
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.
The IRS notes this issue does not involve its main computer system that handles tax filing submission; that system remains secure.
Earlier this month, UNM warned of fraudulent income tax return filings. If you believe you have been the victim of a fraudulently filed income tax return, or have any other reason for concern, the IRS reporting number for New Mexicans is in Austin, Texas at (512) 460-2724. UNM also has identity theft information if you believe you have been the victim of identity theft.
For more information and the steps the IRS is taking to notify taxpayers in the latest incident, visit: IRS statement on "Get Transcript" application.