The IRS has accidentally revealed on its web site Social Security numbers of some donors to political groups known as “527s.” Once the error was uncovered by a watchdog group, the IRS took the records offline.
The Internal Revenue Service inadvertently exposed the Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of individuals online who donated money to tax-exempt organizations involved in political activities.
For reasons of political transparency, the IRS posts information filed by the organizations, which are required to report their contributors and expenditures to the IRS. The nonprofit groups are called “527s” (named for Section 527 of the tax code that gives the groups tax-exempt status). Donors are supposed to be listed, but additional personal information, such as Social Security numbers, is not. Nevertheless, this occurred in numerous instances.
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