Decoded - Technology Law Insights, Volume 3, Issue 18

IRS Says It Exposed Some Confidential Taxpayer Data on Website "Tax agency says error led to posting about some taxpayers with IRAs." Why this is important: In the last issue of Decoded, we discussed the fact that the IRS can be sued for violating taxpayers’ Fourth Amendment rights when it engages in fishing expeditions in an attempt to identify tax evaders. In this issue, we discuss a recent self-inflicted data breach where the IRS posted the confidential information of approximately 120,000 taxpayers. The IRS published information from these taxpayers' Form 990-T, which is used by individuals with retirement accounts that earn business income within those retirement plans. The disclosures included names, contact information and financial information about the income within those retirement accounts. The IRS stated that the disclosure may be the result of a coding error related to charities' use of Form 990-T for unrelated business income. The coding error was due to the fact that Form 990-T filed by individuals are confidential, while charities’ filings are public.

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