WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS said Friday that the number of taxpayers whose tax information may have been stolen by computer hackers now exceeds 700,000 — more than double the agency’s previous estimate.
The tax collecting agency said 390,000 more taxpayer accounts may have compromised than the 334,000 it warned about a year and a half ago. The breach was first discovered in May 2015, and the increase first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The sensitive information can be used for identity theft or to claim fraudulent tax refunds.
The thieves accessed a system called “Get Transcript,” where taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years. In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer.