An IRS program that was supposed to help protect vulnerable taxpayers has been partially suspended, because it turns out the program wasn't all that secure.
An "IP pin code" program is supposed to add another layer of security to those filing tax return forms, but in March, the IRS announced the "tool is unavailable until further notice."
Tax experts say the IRS program was hacked.
The IRS says they are "reviewing this tool and looking at further strengthening its security features."
Either way, it's down, and it's causing problems for people who were relying on the program.
"[If[ a client never receives a letter or maybe a client just misplaced the letter, they can't retrieve [the pin number] online because the system now has been suspended," explains tax specialist and certified fraud examiner Elina Linderman of La Rusa.
Linderman estimates about 5 to 6 percent of her client base has an IP PIN code from the IRS. Filing taxes for those people has become a nightmare for some, and many fear those PIN codes have been stolen altogether.
The people who have a PIN code were the people who were already vulnerable from previous identity theft.
"[The] program online where you could go in and in put your information from your credit report," explains Linderman, adding, "of course those criminals who stole your identity already know your information from your credit report."
Florida is second in the country is total identity theft complains t othe Federal Trade Commission (third-highest per capita rate in the country) and the number of identity theft cases in the U.S. is up 47% since 2014 because of tax fraud.
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