The Internal Revenue Service accidentally published 120,000 taxpayers’ confidential information on its website.
The IRS accidentally posted data from a tax form that individuals and tax-exempt organizations use, the Treasury Department told lawmakers in a letter on Friday, according to Bloomberg.
The Wall Street Journal reported that about 120,000 individuals were affected and that the information came from the Form 990-T. This form is required for people with individual retirement accounts. These accounts are for people who earn certain types of business income in those retirement plans, such as people with IRAs or other similar assets.
According to WSJ, the data included names, contact information, and financial information about income within the IRAs. WSJ said that the data didn’t include social security numbers, full income information or other data that affects the credit of the taxpayer.
These kinds of tax forms are supposed to be confidential for individuals, but they are supposed to be made public for charities, said the WSJ.
WSJ reported that the IRS and the Treasury Department blamed the confidential data on the website to “a human coding error,” which they both said happened last year when Form 990-T started to be filed electronically.
Basically, nonpublic data was accidentally included with the public data and was available for searching and downloading on the IRS website, according to WSJ.
According to Bloomberg, the Treasury Department said that the IRS realized the issue and has taken the data off of its website. The Treasury Department said, per Bloomberg, that the issue was noticed on August 26, but the Treasury did not mention how long the information was available to search or download on the IRS website.
The Treasury Department said that the IRS would be contacting the taxpayers who were affected in the next few weeks, according to Bloomberg.
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