IRS releases over 100,000 tax returns to fraudulent users.

According to an article by John D. McKinnon and Laura Saunders published in the Wall Street Journal, approximately 104,000 households are affected after prior-year tax return information of was disclosed to fraudulent users by an online "Get Transcript" utility provided by the IRS.

The article states the IRS believed that the criminals had obtained personal information from other sources prior to attempting to access the tax returns.

As stated in the article, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, stated that there were an additional 100,000 unsuccessful attempts. The IRS also stated about $50 million in fraudulent refunds were issued as a result and that more fraud may be committed during next year's tax season.

Our own Sen. Orrin Hatch who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, called this incident “devastating."

The article also featured an observation made by Utah state tax officials earlier this year, who state that they believed fraudulent 2014 tax returns filed suggested that the criminals had access to prior-year returns.

The authors state in their article that this is an example of the increased risk to individuals and public entities.

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Source:
The Wall Street Journal: Breach at IRS Exposes Tax Returns