November 3, 2009
TIGTA: 43% of Taxpayers Risk Identity Theft When IRS Makes Copies of Their Tax Returns
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration today released Taxpayer Information Is at Risk When Copies of Tax Returns and Transcripts Are Ordered (2009-40-140):
TIGTA today publicly released its audit report of the IRS's processing of taxpayer requests for copies of tax returns and transcripts.
TIGTA's audit concluded that the IRS needs to strengthen its controls over taxpayer requests for copies of tax returns and transcripts in order to prevent unauthorized disclosure of taxpayer information. Tax transcripts provide most of the information contained in a tax return. Taxpayers request copies of their tax returns or transcripts for many reasons -- to obtain a loan to start a business, to buy a home, to attend college or to verify income for child support. In addition, third parties such as financial institutions, insurance companies or universities could also submit requests for tax returns or transcripts to the IRS on behalf of taxpayers. The IRS currently charges $57 for copies of tax returns, whether they were originally submitted on paper or electronically filed (e-filed).
According to the report, 43% of taxpayer requests for copies of tax returns or transcripts were processed incorrectly or not in accordance with IRS guidelines.
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