The IRS Needs to Work on Its Math Skills

Maybe the IRS needs more fingers to count with?

You may recall that a couple of months ago the Internal Revenue Service got hacked, leaving more than 104,000 taxpayers’ private information at risk.

How? IRS.gov offered an online service to concerned Americas called “Get Transcript.” This user-friendly way to download several years’ worth of tax forms was great for people looking to apply for college financial aid or a mortgage.

Turns out some group of ne’er-do-wells “used this app to download forms full of personal information” by posing as legitimate taxpayers, and tried to download forms relating 200,000 people. They got half…or, at least, so we were told. Rumors held that the Russians did it.

Fears of McCarthyism aside, the U.S. Government should probably consider some remedial math courses as they update their version of Norton Antivirus.

Instead of the previously reported 104,000, the number was closer to 330,000.

The Wall Street Journal reports that further investigation uncovered “about 220,000 accounts where hackers cleared an authentication process and about 170,000 [other] failed attempts.”

Whoops!

“Today’s revelation that the IRS didn’t fully understand this security breach for months is not confidence-inspiring,” said Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee that oversees the IRS.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) termed Monday’s announcement “deeply concerning,” and said the agency’s inability to block the attacks “risks further fraud for hardworking taxpayers.”

Don’t think Congress needs to worry about the lackluster confidence the IRS is stirring up. Seen the tax code lately?