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STRATEGIC TAX LAWYERS:  TAX BLOG

New Hacking Incident

Thursday, October 15, 2015
A new hacking incident has an additional 220,000 innocent taxpayers as victims of stolen tax information based on a report from the Internal Revenue Service.  The IRS revealed that this data breach is much worse that they thought since the con artists accessed tax data for approximately 338,000 innocent taxpayers which is three times more than the IRS actually estimated when the breach was discovered in May 2015.  The original estimates that the IRS released claimed that the cyber hackers accessed tax information for 114,000 taxpayers via the IRS an online portal called IRS “Get Transcript”.  The “Get Transcript” site allows taxpayers to access their tax returns and transcripts online from previous years.  The site was shut down after the discovery of the data breach.  After further investigation, the IRS determined that an additional 224,000 victims’ information was possibly accessed. Most likely, the cyber thieves use the data to sell it to identity thieves on the dark web. So be aware of phishing and other tactics that ask for your identifying information.

The IRS confirmed that the cyber attack allowed the hackers to attackers were able to view the tax filings for the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers since they "confirmed" their identities with stolen personal information including dates of birth, Social Security number and home addresses.  This information is sold online from one criminal to another very cheaply. The investigation leads the IRS to believe that this scheme is part of a bigger network to claim false tax refunds in the near future. 

The hundreds of thousands of victims that were compromised does not include the amount of attempts to access the information that were failed.  Back in May 2015, the IRS revealed that the hackers attempted to hack an additional 111,000 accounts but were unsuccessful.  However, this week, the IRS disclosed that there were agency 170,000 more attempts that were left unaccounted for.  Therefore the total of failed attempts is 281,000.  
The IRS it is serious about the protection of taxpayer’s information.  The IRS will notify the new taxpayers that were affected over the next few days.
We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP and we can assist you with any of your tax-related issues with the IRS.  We advise all consumers to keep an eye out on their finances and sign up for credit report monitoring for any irregular activity.  It’s not easy to stop tax fraud, but if you monitor your accounts closely, you should be able to notice suspicious activity quickly and take action

We are professional business tax lawyers with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.