685,000 taxpayers will be getting letters from the
Internal Revenue Service this week warning that hackers
may have stolen their tax information.
a nine-month investigation, the IRS concluded recently
that 390,000 taxpayer accounts may have been accessed,
and another 295,000 were targeted, but not accessed.
IRS said hackers used Social Security numbers found
elsewhere to get into the Get Transcript service, which
was designed to make it easy for filers to get tax
returns from previous years. With information from
previous returns, hackers presumably could prepare a
phony new return in an individualís name and seek a
service was discontinued in May 2015 when it was first
discovered that 225,000 taxpayer documents may have been
hacked. Since then, the investigation has turned up more
potential victims. In all, more than 1.2 million tax
filers were targeted by ID thieves.
Transcript allowed taxpayers to immediately download and
view tax information or have it mailed to them. Since
the launch of the service in January 2014, about 47
million transcripts have been ordered, according to the
IRS is committed to protecting taxpayers on multiple
fronts against tax-related identity theft, and these
mailings are part of that effort," said IRS
Commissioner John Koskinen in a prepared statement.
said the IRS is trying to help taxpayers by offering
free Equifax identify theft protection for a year,
encouraging people to place fraud alerts on their credit
accounts, placing extra scrutiny on tax returns and
Social Security numbers, and placing special markers on
addition, the IRS has been sharing information with
states in case state information is also compromised.
a taxpayer is among those identified with compromised
data, their electronic tax return filing, or E-File, is
likely to be rejected, according to an IRS spokesman.
IRS provides this information for people worried about