This tax season you may have more to worry about than how much you owe. A new study from Identity Finder finds the IRS is not properly protecting social security numbers in some tax returns.
Personal tax returns are not public, but the tax returns of non-profit organizations are public domain. Identify Finder used the OCR (optical character recognition) module of its Sensitive Data Manager software to analyze nearly four million publicly available tax return image or PDF files ranging from 2001 to 2012.
The research revealed an alarming failure to safeguard sensitive data. Identity Finder uncovered an estimated 630,000 Social Security numbers exposed online in form 990 tax returns.