As many of our clients have observed, IRS notices to verify payments are up astronomically this year. Why is this the case when it seems nearly impossible to communicate with an actual agent? Due to $10.9 billion in budget cuts and short-handed staffing issues, the agency has had to rely more on technology than ever before.
According to the IRS Newswire, hackers were able to breach the IRS’s Get Transcript Online service, and were able to obtain past tax return data for more than 104,000 individuals while attempting to access the information of more than 200,000 taxpayers. The tax hackers were able to obtain enough data from an outside source to allow them access without having to clear a multistep verification process. The IRS said that the data gathered would help criminals to file more credible seeming false returns that are more likely to evade IRS antifraud filters.
After learning about the hack, the IRS promptly shut down the Get Transcript Online service that is primarily used by individuals to obtain past tax data for mortgage and college applications. Because of this breach, the 200,000 affected taxpayers should have received and official IRS letter indicating that the criminals had their tax information, and the IRS would offer credit monitoring services to the 104,000 who had their data stolen.
Results from this hack were felt by millions as refund turnaround was much slower and verification notices from the IRS skyrocketed, making numerous clients nervous. Although numerous clients experienced identity theft issues this year, please note that BiggsKofford has not experienced any security breaches.
If you have any questions regarding the IRS hack, please contact us at 719-579-9090. If you have been notified that your identity has been breached, please read here.