IRS notifies 100K of potential FAFSA data breach
The IRS is offering one free year of credit monitoring to affected individuals. The IRS website includes FAQs on this incident. Those FAQs explain that individuals affected by this incident may not necessarily be victims of identity theft, and should not have had any issues filing their taxes.
“Using the Data Retrieval Tool is a separate process from filing a tax return. If there’s an issue with your tax return or tax refund, the IRS will contact you by mail with specific details and instructions.” Even so, “the IRS will take an extra precautionary step to mark [each affected individual’s] tax account to protect the taxpayer from possible tax-related identity theft.”
As the Department of Education FAFSA website reports, “The IRS DRT was turned off following concerns that data from the tool could be used by identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns. Once enhancements are made to encrypt or mask the sensitive data, the IRS DRT will be reactivated.” The website reports that the tool will be activated in the fall.