IRS Get Transcript System Violated
The IRS announced on May 26, 2015, that “criminals used taxpayer-specific data acquired from non-IRS sources to gain unauthorized access to information on approximately 100,000 tax accounts through the IRS Get Transcript application. This data included Social Security information, date of birth and street address. By accessing the IRS transcript system, criminals were able to access additional confidential data including detailed information on earnings, employers, etc. that could and will likely be used for nefarious purposes.
The IRS stated that the Get Transcript application was not “hacked”, but rather the criminals accessed the application through the front door with the keys (i.e. using other personal information about the taxpayer) to post as taxpayers and access their data. As a result of this breach, the Get Transcript has been shut down by the IRS for the indeterminate future.
The IRS has announced that letters will be issued in the near future to affected taxpayers. The IRS will provide free credit monitoring services for the approximately 100,000 taxpayers whose accounts were access. In addition, the IRS is marking the underlying taxpayer accounts on their processing systems to flag for potential identity theft to protect taxpayers going forward, both right now and in 2016.
Tax Samaritan emphasizes that identity theft is just one of many reasons why people should think twice before posting publicly personal or financial information on social media or the Internet. Taxpayers should also make sure their computers are up to date with the latest security software and that any hard-copy confidential information is shredded before disposal.
Taxpayers who are victims of identity theft can get additional information in the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft and Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers and Victims .
As Enrolled Agents, Tax Samaritan are still able to obtain taxpayer transcripts as an authorized representative on your behalf outside of the “Get Transcript” system.
If you are a victim of Identity Theft or will need access to your transcripts as part of your tax preparation process and would like assistance from Tax Samaritan tax professionals, please Click Here to contact us.
Tax Samaritan is a team of Enrolled Agents with over 25 years of experience focusing on US tax preparation and representation. We maintain this tax blog where all articles are written by Enrolled Agents. Our main objective is to educate US taxpayers on their tax responsibilities and the selection of a tax professional. Our articles are also designed to help taxpayers looking to self prepare, providing specific tips and pitfalls to avoid.
When looking for a tax professional, choose carefully. We recommend that you hire a credentialed tax professional such as Tax Samaritan that is an Enrolled Agent (America’s Tax Experts). If you are a US taxpayer overseas, we further recommend that you seek a professional who is experienced in expat tax preparation, like Tax Samaritan (most tax professionals have limited to no experience with the unique tax issues of expat taxpayers).
Randall Brody is an enrolled agent, licensed by the US Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections and appeals. To attain the enrolled agent designation, candidates must demonstrate expertise in taxation, fulfill continuing education credits and adhere to a stringent code of ethics.
Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.