The IRS was taken to task today by the investigative arm of Congress for not doing enough to protect taxpayers from ID theft.

The Internal Revenue Service is negligent in protecting taxpayers from ID theft, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, charged in a report today.

GAO said the IRS needs to take more steps to keep sensitive information from crooks who could use it to commit identity theft and other financial crimes.

“Without effective security controls, computer systems are vulnerable to human actions committed in error or with malicious intent,” the study warned.

In addition to tax ID theft, bad actors can use their access to IRS computer systems to disrupt operations and launch attacks against other computer systems and networks, the researchers cautioned.

GAO said the IRS was guilty of both physical and cybersecurity lapses in the protection of taxpayer information.

The researchers chastised IRS for not correcting deficiencies they warned about before in reviewing access lists of individuals at two computing centers to insure they need to go into restricted spaces.

“Because individuals may be allowed inappropriate access to restricted areas, IRS has reduced assurance that its computing resources and sensitive information are protected from unauthorized access,” GAO said in the report.

In fiscal 2017, the agency collected about $3.4 trillion in federal taxes, processed about 201 million returns, and paid close to $437 billion in refunds and outlays, the report noted.

To see the entire study, click on: https://bit.ly/2mZGIg2


This article was written by Ted Knutson from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg