A government investigator says the IRS failed to do background checks on some private contractors who handled confidential taxpayer information, exposing more than a million taxpayers to an increased risk of fraud and identity theft.
In one case, the IRS gave a printing contractor a computer disk with names, addresses and Social Security numbers of 1.4 million taxpayers, but didn't require a background check for anyone working on the job. In another case, the IRS used a courier to transport sensitive documents who had spent 21 years in prison.
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The report Thursday from the tax agency's inspector general did not review whether contractors actually misused taxpayer data.
In a statement, the IRS said it has taken steps to ensure that private contractors undergo proper screening.