Tags: BNALL | BNSTAFF | BNTEAMS | BON | BUD | BUSINESS | CECO

IRS Slow to Tell of Personal Data Breaches

Thursday, 14 Jul 2011 03:53 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service doesn’t always promptly notify taxpayers when personal information has inadvertently been disclosed, a government review of IRS procedures has found.

The IRS failed to properly alert taxpayers to privacy breaches in 35 of 98 cases of inadvertent disclosures sampled by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, according to a report by the inspector general released today.

“Taxpayers need to be assured that the IRS will promptly notify them of inadvertent disclosures of their confidential information, so they can take appropriate steps to protect themselves from identity theft or other harm,” Inspector General J. Russell George said in a statement accompanying the report.

Inadvertent disclosures of taxpayer information can occur through mix-ups, such as sending a tax return to an incorrect fax number or mailing a return to a different person with a similar name.

The inspector general considered notifications timely if they were made within 45 days. Notification letters in the sample took an average of 86 days.

The IRS identified 1,493 cases of inadvertent disclosure that required notification of 2,812 taxpayers in 2009 and 2010, according to the report. The IRS processed more than 140 million individual returns in each of those years.

No ‘Systemic Vulnerability’

“While any inadvertent disclosure is of great concern, nothing in this report suggests any systemic vulnerability,” IRS spokeswoman Julianne Breitbeil said in a statement. “Taxpayers can be confident that their data is secure with the IRS, and protection of taxpayer data is a top priority for the agency.”

There’s no indication that any of the incidents of inadvertent disclosure examined by the inspector general led to any taxpayer harm, Breitbeil said.

George’s report made four recommendations to improve training and procedures to ensure faster notifications.

The IRS agreed with all of the recommendations.

--Editors: Bob Drummond, Robin Meszoly

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Zajac in Washington at azajac@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Utah Lawmaker Questions City Water Going to NSA

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 18:02 PM

A Utah lawmaker concerned about government spying on its citizens is questioning whether city water service should be cu . . .

Ben Carson Tries to Clarify Stance on Second Amendment Rights

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 15:42 PM

Potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson used a conference call with supporters Wednesday to tack . . .

'I Killed JFK' Producer: We Have Confession of Alleged JFK Killer

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 14:49 PM

As the 51st anniversary of the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy is approaching, the producer of a new d . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved