Back in May, people flipped out when the IRS revealed that more than 100,000 taxpayer accounts had been compromised by hackers.
Turns out that would have been relatively good news. Now, as the National Journal reports, the IRS says that the total number of accounts breached was probably more like 330,000. The hack attack, which IRS thinks originated in Russia, resulted in $50 million in fraudulent tax refund filings.
As CNN Money notes, the IRS says that the bad guys appeared to have personal information on at least another 300,000 or so taxpayers whose accounts were not accessed. But only the taxpayers whose tax accounts were compromised are getting warning notices from the IRS and information about free credit monitoring.
The IRS may not be actively reaching out to taxpayers on this issue, but here’s a link to some information on what you can do if you think you’ve been victimized. Unfortunately, the first indication people often have that someone has used their Social Security Number to file a fake tax return (and get a real refund) is when they are unable to electronically file their return.
At that point, the taxpayer/victim has to file a paper return, along with Form 14039, which will allow the taxpayer to file electronically next year.