IRS Warns of Breach of Individual Financial Information – Bank Account Details and other FATCA Related Account Data
This is not new news; indeed it is somewhat old and stale. It has become more relevant, however, as the exchange of financial information under FATCA is to commence in a few months in 2015.
The IRS issued a warning in September that reads in relevant part as follows:
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a fraud alert for international financial institutions complying with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Scam artists posing as the IRS have fraudulently solicited financial institutions seeking account holder identity and financial account information.
The IRS does not require financial institutions to provide specific account holder identity information or financial account information over the phone or by fax or email. Further, the IRS does not solicit FATCA registration passwords or similar confidential account access information.
This statement may be a bit misleading, since the FATCA law does require specific individual account holder information be provided to the government. It is detailed in its scope of information required; including account numbers, names of account owners, addresses of account owners, income from such accounts, taxpayer identification numbers (which means Social Security Numbers for U.S. citizens), etc.
Time will tell, how effective governments will be in maintaining their taxpayers’ information confidential; as opposed to private institutions, such as JP Morgan. See, JPMorgan data breach entry point identified: NYT