Tax fraud has become a tremendous problem, with even government-run agencies like the IRS being affected by hackers with bad intentions.
In the spring of 2015, the IRS publicly announced that identity thieves had compromised personal tax information for 114,000 innocent taxpayers. Not only that, but these hackers also unsuccessfully tried to access information for 111,000 other taxpayers – meaning they succeeded on over 50% of their total attempts at illegal access to private data. This news and these figures were originally delivered in a press conference by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on May 26.
At the time, the IRS stated that the issue was under “continuing review” by the Treasury Inspector General and other government officials.
The continued investigation has revealed some new and startling details about the major breach. According to the IRS, identity thieves might have stolen important tax information about an additional 220,000 taxpayers. Another 170,000 attempts at gaining access to individual taxpayer information were also reportedly made but were unsuccessful.
The IRS stated that it will send letters via mail to any taxpayers whose accounts were definitely accessed – and to those whose information may have been accessed. In total, the number of potentially affected taxpayers is close to 400,000 based on these newly released findings. This figure still does not account for the hundreds of thousands of affected taxpayers that the IRS already knew about back in May.
Because tax fraud has become so prevalent and can affect millions of innocent Americans each year, it is critical to protect yourself and your personal information as best as you can. This includes protecting taxpayer information such as Social Security Numbers, Employer Identification Numbers for business owners, Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and other important data that could unlock your personal life. Be leery of when and where you provide any of this information.
1-800Accountant is here to help all taxpayers ensure their tax returns are prepared and filed with the IRS in a timely and safe manner. Whether you’re an individual working at a W-2 job, or you own a small business through which you earn 1099 income, 1-800Accountant is here to help you keep your tax information in the right hands. To learn more about 1-800Accountant’s services, call 1-800-222-6868 or check out www.1-800Accountant.