WASHINGTON – Your personal tax information may now be in the hands of hackers.
The Internal Revenue Service is acknowledging a major data breach that is affecting more than 100,000 taxpayers.
Congress is really going to want some answers here.
Yet another major stumble for the IRS and this one could lead to some major costs for taxpayers.
The IRS likes to keep tabs on all of us but who is keeping an eye on them?
The agency entrusted with some of our most personal financial data has now admitted that a hacker or a group of hackers has made off with a trove of information and the worst may be yet to come.
Thieves could very well use all of that data to apply for refunds in the names of unsuspecting taxpayers.
In a statement, the IRS admits, “It’s possible that some of these transcript accesses were made with an eye toward using them for identity theft for next year’s tax season.”
How did this happen?
The IRS said it was through a website that was supposed to be secure, an access point called “get transcript,” that has now been shut down.
But this was no ordinary hack.
According to reports, this hack is part of a sophisticated operation.
Officials said in order to gain access to the information, the hackers had to already have a lot of person information about the taxpayers, things like Social Security numbers, birth dates, address and even your tax filing status.
So, who was hit?
The IRS says it will be notifying those taxpayers whose information was stolen and offer free credit monitoring.
But the extent of the damage may not be known for months.
The reality is, for hackers, there is a lot of money to be made from the IRS.
The agency estimates that in 2013 alone, it may have paid out $5.8 billion to identity thieves.