IRS: Computer breach bigger than first thought; 700K victims

Posted at 5:19 PM, Feb 26, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS says 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 says 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.

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.

The IRS says it is immediately notifying taxpayers and offering ways to protect against the breach.