The Internal Revenue Service does not always properly authenticate the identity of taxpayers calling its toll-free assistance lines before providing them with confidential tax account information, according to a new government report.
The report, by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, found that taxpayers who call the IRS-toll-free lines are at risk of having their personally identifiable information inadvertently overheard and disclosed during conversations with IRS employees. TIGTA auditors listened to a sample of audio-taped calls between IRS employees and taxpayers and were able to hear parts of assistors’ conversations with other callers.
IRS guidelines require assistors to fully authenticate callers before assisting them.
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