IRS Admits To Accidentally Releasing Private Data Of About 112,000 Taxpayers

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James Lynch Contributor
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mistakenly released the private data of roughly 112,000 taxpayers in September and again in late November, the agency disclosed Thursday.

An IRS programming error in September caused the release of 112,000 individual 990-T forms, a form used by IRA holders to report retirement account assets. The IRS is required to publicize 990-T forms filled out by nonprofit organizations but not those completed by individual taxpayers, according to Bloomberg.

The 990-T data was accidentally released again in November when a contractor uploaded an outdated file holding the private information, the IRS said in a Thursday letter to Congress. The agency is required to inform Congress of disclosures involving 100,000 forms or more, according to Bloomberg.

An independent researcher alerted the IRS on Dec.1 after noticing the files were still online, and the IRS ordered the contractor to immediately take them down, Bloomberg reported. The IRS is reconsidering its relationship with consulting firm Accenture, the contractor for the database.

The IRS recently reminded taxpayers about the requirement to disclose digital payments of $600 or more, as stipulated in the 2021 American Rescue Plan, CNBC reported. (RELATED: Small Businesses Revolt Over Liberal City’s Open-Air Drug Markets)

Taxpayers may receive 1099-K forms for a single transaction exceeding $600, down from the $20,000 threshold prior to 2022, the agency said in a press release. The 1099-K form is used to voluntarily disclose third party payment transactions.

The IRS and Accenture did not immediately respond to requests for comment.