IRS Publishes Confidential Information of 120,000 Taxpayers Online, Then Blames ‘Human Coding Error’
On Friday, officials from Treasury Department announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had accidentally published confidential information pertaining to approximately 120,000 taxpayers’ retirement accounts on its website.
“This letter provides notice that the Internal Revenue Service recently identified an inadvertent and now-corrected disclosure of a subset of Forms 990-T,” Acting Secretary Anna Canfield Roth wrote in a letter addressed to Homeland Security Chairman Thompson.
“Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) requires this report to Congress “not later than seven days after the date on which there is reasonable basis to conclude that a major incident has occurred.” The IRS determined on Friday, August 26, that the inadvertent disclosure met this threshold,” the letter stated.
“Form 990-T is the business tax return used by tax-exempt entities, including tax-exempt organizations, government entities and retirement accounts, to report and pay income tax on income that is generated from certain investments or income unrelated to their exempt purpose,” the letter explained.
Names, contact details, and financial data pertaining to IRA income were among the details that were “inadvertently” made public.
Based on the IRS review, the data that were leaked online did not include Social Security numbers, individual income information, detailed financial account data, or other sensitive information that could impact a taxpayer’s credit.
The Wall Street Journal reported that an investigation by the US Treasury Department found that sensitive data were posted on the IRS website because of human coding mistakes.
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“The IRS took immediate steps to address this issue,” the agency said in a statement provided to FOX Business. “The files have been removed from IRS.gov and will be replaced with updated files in the near future. In addition, the IRS also will be working with groups that routinely use the files to remove the erroneous files and replace them with the correct versions as they become available.”
The agency said that it would contact all affected individuals.
Information included in Form 990-T — like all individual taxpayer data — is intended to be confidential in most instances. But charities with unrelated business income are supposed to file Form 990-T, which is supposed to be made public.
The IRS discovered the mistake in recent weeks and took “immediate steps to address this issue,” according to a letter sent to Congress by Anna Cothfield Roth, the acting assistant secretary for management at the Treasury Department.
“The IRS is continuing to review this situation,” Cothfield Roth wrote in the letter. “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 news comes shortly after Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a $750 billion health care, tax, and climate package, into law at the White House.
“With this law, the American people won and the special interests lost,” Biden said during the signing. “For a while people doubted whether any of that was going to happen, but we are in a season of substance.”
The reconciliation package would also double the current IRS workforce by hiring an additional 87,000 employees to the bureau’s staff of 78,661 employees.
The bill will also add 87,000 new IRS employees to harass and abuse working Americans and their political opponents. These recruits must be willing to carry a firearm and “use deadly force, if necessary.”
Now that Joe Biden is expanding the IRS by 87,000 new agents, he needs someone to oversee the department’s growth.
Would you believe he picked someone who worked with Lois Lerner? The woman who was at the center of the Obama IRS scandal when conservatives were targeted?
The IRS promoted Nikole Flax, one of a handful of employees whose emails “disappeared” after being implicated alongside Lois Lerner in the agency’s targeting scandal, to lead a “centralized” office in Biden’s mega-IRS.
What could go wrong? (hint: a lot)https://t.co/N111FKfrmT
— Spencer Brown (@itsSpencerBrown) August 30, 2022