The Internal Revenue Service “mistakenly” posted the names, contact details and financial information of the retirement accounts of about 120,000 taxpayers.
The US Treasury Department determined that a human coding error allowed the confidential information to be posted on the IRS website before it was removed. Wall Street Journal reported.
Among the information published were the names, contact details, and finances of individuals who filed 990-T forms related to their IRA plans.
On Friday, the Treasury assured Congress that social security numbers, full income information and other key financial data were not being published and those affected would be contacted in the coming weeks.
Human coding flaw in the IRS system allowed confidential information from 120,000 taxpayer retirement accounts to be published online
Among the information published were the names, contact details, and finances of individuals who filed 990-T forms (above) in relation to their IRA plans
The Treasury and IRS blame the error on a coding flaw implemented last year when 990-T forms were allowed to be filed electronically.
The form is often required for individuals whose IRA earn certain types of business income within their retirement plans.
While this information should be kept private, nonprofits submit the same form and that data is intended to be public.
The Treasury explained that the new code in its system mixed up the 990-T forms and published the private data with that to the public.
Officials said an IRS investigator discovered the flaw in recent weeks and alerted the agency that federal law requires to notify Congress when a security incident occurs.
The error has sparked a wide-ranging investigation into how the IRS maintains and publishes private and public information.
“The IRS continues to assess this situation,” Anna Canfield Roth, the Treasury Department’s acting assistant secretary for management, told lawmakers in a letter.
“The Treasury Department has instructed the IRS to swiftly review its practices to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized disclosure of data.”
The US Treasury did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on how the private information appeared on the IRS website.
The flaw is the latest leak of private information from the IRS since the tax information of America’s richest individuals was published last year
FBI has yet to make arrests or execute search warrants related to 2021 case
The flaw is the latest leak of private information the IRS has faced as it attempts to move into the 21st century.
Last year, files on the highest-earning Americans were leaked and published by ProPublica, sparking a federal investigation into the IRS.
The FBI has not yet made any arrests or executed search warrants in connection with the case.