The Internal Revenue Service acknowledged Friday that it had inadvertently exposed a batch of taxpayer information linked to some non-profits and other tax-exempt organizations, following a Wall Street Journal report that said as many as 120,000 individuals may have been affected by the error.
The accidentally leaked data did not include any Social Security numbers, “detailed account-holder information” or personal income tax returns, the IRS said in a statement, but it included information from Form 990-T, which is used by tax-exempt entities to report unrelated business income.
Only 501(c)(3) organizations are required to make their Form 990-T available for public inspection. An error mistakenly resulted in data from some non-501(c)(3)s also being made available for bulk download through the IRS’ search portal for tax-exempt entities, the agency said.
“In some instances, the data does include individual names or business contact information,” the IRS said, adding that the agency has now removed the files from public view on its website and will be contacting affected taxpayers directly. “The IRS is continuing to review this situation.”
According to the Journal, the incident also exposed information about business income within certain individual retirement accounts reportable on Form 990-T; the IRS statement does not confirm whether that was the case. The Journal also said the Treasury Department planned to notify “key members of Congress” about the accidental disclosure.
Spokespeople for the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, which oversee the IRS, did not immediately respond to CNN requests for comment.
A Treasury Department spokesperson referred CNN to the IRS statement.