The Get Transcript debacle, revised and extended. IRS Commissioner Koskinen’s perfect record of getting things wrong the first time rolls on. The man who famously assured us that there were no more Tea Party emails, and they weren’t backed up, only to be proven repeatedly wrong, now tells us that the hack of the “Get Transcript” hack was much worse than they had let on. Ars Technica reports:
More than three months after the Internal Revenue Service shut down its online tax transcript service because of a massive identity theft effort, the IRS is now acknowledging that the number of affected taxpayers is more than three times the agency’s initial estimate. And the number of affected taxpayers may continue to grow as the agency digs into logs of hundreds of thousands of connections to its Get Transcript application over the past year.
Commissioner Koskinen was billed as a “turnaround artist” for a struggling IRS. I guess I just don’t understand art. The IRS continues to send billions of dollars to identity thieves, most far less sophisticated than the (presumably Russian) outfit that hacked the transcript application. For example:
Fourteen reputed gangsters from Plainfield, Elizabeth and Newark have been indicted on charges ranging from tax fraud to murder following a seven-month investigation into alleged financial scams that helped sustain their criminal organization.
All 14 members and associates of the Elizabeth-based 111 Neighborhood Crips street gang were charged under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute, or RICO.
If you can’t keep the 111 Neighborhood Crips from electronic tax theft, you don’t stand much chance against Russian organized crime.
The TaxProf has a roundup. More coverage:
Caleb Newquist, IRS Was Just Kidding When It Said Cyber Criminals Tried to Access Tax Return Information for 225,000 Households. “It was quite a few more than that, actually.”
Russ Fox, IRS Data Breach Impacted 334,000, Not 100,000 as IRS First Said. “Being a cynic, I wonder if the IRS’s announcement last week regarding free credit monitoring services has to do with today’s announcement.”
Kay Bell, Uncle Sam, watch TV! You need these kind of tech-savvy staffers to fight growing tax & government website hacking. Actually, it appears the IRS already relies on fictional characters to protect its systems.
Annette Nellen, Highway Trust Fund and Tax Reform
Robert Wood, A $35 Million Wedding? Yes, Before Taxes:
But suppose you’re all about business? Is it possible to write off the cost if you’re inviting all your clients and customers?
Patrick Smith,D.C. Circuit Majority Opinion in Florida Bankers Not Consistent with Supreme Court’s Direct Marketing Decision (Part 2). On the bankers’ challenge to FATCA.
Peter Reilly, Travel Blogger Finds Sex, Drugs Even Some Museums But No Tax Deductions. Sex, drugs, but no tax rock ‘n roll.
Paul Neiffer travelblogs the First Day of the Midwest Crop Tour, looking at good corn in South Dakota and Nebraska. No word on how his deductions are doing.
Jeremy Scott, Lessig Is Probably Wrong About Extenders (Tax Analysts Blog):
Maybe some would argue that all this is part of a grand conspiracy. The president, left-leaning think tanks, and Republicans conspire to create a debate over extenders that lets the GOP and its allies (many Democrats do in fact support permanent credits for research, state and local sales taxes, depreciation, and other items) constantly churn money from donors. But that doesn’t seem very plausible.
Maybe not, but it sure does get the lobbyists to show up for the summer golf fund-raisers.
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 831
News from the Profession. CPA Thought He Was Out, Gets Pulled Back In (Caleb Newquist, Going Concern).
If you were a CPA who testified in the trial of two NYPD officers dubbed the “Mafia Cops,” no one would doubt you if you said, “I could never ever, I will never ever, be a CPA again.”
But he did. It doesn’t appear to be going well.