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Jordan Candler / Oct. 5, 2017

IRS Malfeasance Meets Equifax Ineptitude

The two agencies team up to "verify taxpayer identify." What could possibly go wrong?

It was just a few weeks ago when Equifax finally came clean about a staggering security breach that imperiled the data of some 145 million Americans. Earlier this year, hackers infiltrated the company’s database and retrieved troves of intimate consumer data, including Social Security and credit card numbers. Security breaches happen, but this case was particularly infuriating due to some company officials’ lackluster — perhaps even criminal — response and the preventable way in which the breach occurred.

Another agency that retains some of your most personal information is the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS isn’t exactly trustworthy either, as demonstrated through the actions of Lois Lerner, who walked away with impunity after targeting conservative groups. The last thing consumers and taxpayers want these two agencies doing in teaming up. So guess what? That’s exactly what they’re doing. What could possibly go wrong?

On Sept. 29, the IRS awarded a $7.25 million contract “to establish an order for third party data services from Equifax to verify taxpayer identity and to assist in ongoing identity verification and validations needs of the Service.” How ironic — and damning — it will be when some untold number of IRS applications are flagged for fraud by Equifax due to the leaking of information … by Equifax. At this point it’s basically inevitable.

According to Fox News, “The contract stated that Equifax was the only company capable of providing these services to the IRS, and it was deemed a ‘critical’ service that couldn’t lapse.” That may or may not be true. But as Rep. Early Blumenauer made very clear, “I am shocked that the IRS would contract with this firm for activities that they are clearly unfit to carry out.” The agencies are either tone-deaf or perverse — or both. Hardly surprising — but nonetheless exasperating — coming from such contemptuous agencies.

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