The IRS Isn't Sure Who They Hired Or Why Your Sensitive Tax Documents Are Filed In Dumpsters

Here are three things you didn’t want to know: 1) The IRS doesn’t always conduct background checks on the employees contracted to handle your sensitive tax documents; 2) Those contracted employees regularly toss your sensitive tax documents into dumpsters without first shedding them; 3) The IRS doesn’t really know who’s in charge of conducting background checks on contracted employees, or who’s responsible for keeping your sensitive tax documents shredded and out of dumpsters. At least that’s what the Treasury Inspector General‘s office uncovered when it audited everyone’s favorite auditors.

“We found evidence of only 2 instances where IRS personnel conducted visitations to shred/burn facilities in the past 2 fiscal years,” the report notes. “Not all Territory Managers were even able to identify the contractor who provided their shred/burn services or where they were located. None of the four contractor sites we visited had ever received a request from the IRS to inspect their facility or onsite records.”

In response, the IRS says it will keep close watch on both its dumpsters and contracted employees. Honest!

Increased Management Oversight of the Sensitive but Unclassified Waste Disposal Process Is Needed to Prevent Inadvertent Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (Audit # 200830008) (pdf) [Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration]
Report: IRS Created Dumpster-Diver Swimming Holes [The Washington Post]
(Photo: sonyaseattle)

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