IRS Wants Cash--And Security - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


IRS Wants Cash--And Security

By March, the Internal Revenue Service expects three private debt collectors to be helping it collect from tax deadbeats. Given the IRS's record working with contractors, and the business world's problems protecting sensitive information, the strategy raises concern.

It sounds like smart economics, with the IRS reckoning private collectors can bring in $1.4 billion dollars in back taxes in 10 years. The companies keep up to 25%.

And the IRS is setting tough security rules. The work must be done in the United States. Contractors must purge taxpayer information from their IT systems as soon as work on an account is completed, or guarantee its protection if they can't immediately purge it. They must adhere to federal security standards, including knowing where tax returns and information are at all times.

But the Government Accountability Office has criticized the IRS's management of contractors. In an April 27 letter, GAO financial management and assurance director Steven Sebastian identified internal control problems at the IRS that "adversely affected safeguarding of tax receipts and information." It found some contractors got stafflike access to restricted areas without undergoing background investigations.

The business world's track record will do little to improve public confidence. Poor security at a third-party processor caused one of the biggest scandals last year, exposing millions of customer records of the major credit-card companies. And last week, People's Bank joined the growing list of companies that mishandled customer data, when a tape with account and Social Security numbers on 90,000 customers was lost while being transported by UPS.

Membership in the "dang, I lost your data" club keeps growing. Hopefully, it's a club the IRS can stay out of.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Augmented Analytics Drives Next Wave of AI, Machine Learning, BI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/19/2020
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll