Fox Business reports that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has leaked the information - the confidential information - of some 120,000 taxpayers.
The agency did so through its website. The information came from 990-T forms, which, according to the IRS, "is the business tax return used by tax-exempt entities, including tax-exempt organizations, government entities, and retirement accounts, to report and pay income tax on income that is generated from certain investments or income unrelated to their exempt purpose."
The IRS further explained that it "is required to publicly disclose this information for 501(c)(3) organizations; however, similar information was inadvertently published for a subset of non-501(c)(3)s, which are not subject to public disclosure."
Fox Business reports that the "exposure included names, contact information, and financial information about income within those [individual retirement accounts]."
The outlet, though, adds that "it did not include Social Security numbers, full individual income information, detailed financial account data, or other sensitive information that could affect a taxpayer's credit."
The IRS has put out a statement saying that it is taking steps to rectify the situation.
The agency said:
The IRS took immediate steps to address this issue. The files have been removed from IRS.gov and will be replaced with updated files in the near future. In addition, the IRS also will be working with groups that routinely use the files to remove the erroneous files and replace them with the correct versions as they become available.
The IRS is expected to notify affected filers within the "coming weeks."
As for what caused the leak, the IRS blamed it on a human coding error from 2021.