The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) posted the confidential information of approximately 120,000 taxpayers before an error on its website was taken down Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing officials within the IRS.
In a Friday letter to Congress, the IRS and Treasury Department blamed a human coding error from 2021, the first year that the Form 990-T was able to be filed electronically, the WSJ reported. The error resulted in nonpublic data being made available for download to users of the IRS website, and was not discovered until “recent weeks,” according to the WSJ.
“The IRS is continuing to review this situation,” said Anna Canfield Roth, acting assistant secretary for management of the Treasury Department, in the letter obtained by the WSJ. “The Treasury Department has instructed the IRS to conduct a prompt review of its practices to ensure necessary protections are in place to prevent unauthorized data disclosures.”
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The IRS has had long-standing technological issues, with the agency struggling to update the around 60-year-old COBOL tax processing system or find employees qualified for its use, TIME reported.
Following security breaches, the IRS is required to notify lawmakers, the IRS reported.