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Identity thieves access 100,000 tax records on IRS website

By Danielle Haynes
Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen said the tax records of 100,000 people were illegally accessed through the IRS website. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/b2de500b62496ed4945083e5ce2f51b8/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen said the tax records of 100,000 people were illegally accessed through the IRS website. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 26 (UPI) -- Thieves have illegally accessed the tax information of more than 100,000 people on the Internal Revenue Service's website, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday.

He said the illegal access happened through the website's "Get Transcript" feature in which taxpayers can download five years of their tax forms. The feature was shut down late last week in reaction to the illegal access.

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"This is just the latest manifestation of people getting enough data to masquerade as a taxpayer," Koskinen said in a news conference announcing the breach.

The tax information of 100,000 taxpayers was accessed, and thieves attempted to access the information of another 100,000 people. The unauthorized access happened between February and May.

In order to access the files, the identity thieves must have had previous access to a person's Social Security number and other identifiable information.

The IRS said it sent letters to all 200,000 taxpayers whose accounts were affected and is offering free credit monitoring for the 100,000 accounts that were accessed. The IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration are investigating the breach.

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