If you thought you were OK because you didn’t get a notice from the IRS saying your personal tax information was hacked back in May, think again.
The IRS announced today that it underestimated the amount of taxpayer data that was stolen months ago when hackers got into its online Get Transcript tool.
In May when the IRS announced the hack — which the agency emphasized was done using individuals’ data obtained from places other than the federal tax website — it said data from around 100,000 taxpayers was illegally obtained. That number later was adjusted upwards to 114,000.
Now the hacked tax account tally has grown to 334,000.
The IRS didn’t add “and counting,” but that worry has to be top of mind for the millions of taxpayers whose personal information is stored electronically by Uncle Sam’s tax collector.
The IRS did note, however, that overall the identity thieves used personal information from about 610,000 taxpayers in an effort to access old tax returns. They were successful in getting information from about 334,000 taxpayers.
IRS sending victims letters
The IRS says it is “moving aggressively to protect taxpayers whose account information may have been accessed.”
Part of that process will be a round of letters to the newly identified taxpayers whose data was or might have been accessed through the Get Transcript portal. The IRS.gov option that lets you download your prior return filing info has been closed since the hack was discovered.
Watch your snail mail box and keep your fingers crossed that you don’t get an IRS letter. If you do get the bad news, you can enroll in an IRS program that will assign you a special ID number that you must use to file your tax returns.
Monitor your credit info
In addition, the agency is extending the offer it made when the hack was first found to provide identity theft victims free (and tax-free) credit monitoring services.
Even if your tax information is safe, you might want to consider options to keep it and other financial data secure. You can get a free credit report right here through myBankrate to make sure that no one else is using your data.