The Internal Revenue Service building stands April 15, 2019 in Washington, DC.

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Zach Gibson/Getty Images


The Internal Revenue Service building stands April 15, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Private information about about 120,000 taxpayers has been temporarily made public by the Internal Revenue Service, the agency said Friday.

Confidential data from certain Forms 990-T, a business tax return used by tax-exempt organizations, could be downloaded from the search engine of the IRS.gov website for about a year, the Wall Street reported. Newspaper for the first time.

The agency blamed a human coding error that went unnoticed for months until an employee recently noticed the error. The IRS is required to notify Congress of any incident involving more than 100,000 people under the Federal Information Security Modernization Act.

“The IRS took immediate action to resolve the issue,” Anna Canfield Roth, the IRS’s acting assistant secretary for management, wrote in a letter to Congress on Friday.

Taxpayer names and business contract information are among the data that was inadvertently leaked, Roth said. But sensitive data such as social security numbers, income information or “other sensitive information that could affect a taxpayer’s credit” has not been released.

The files have since been removed from the website and the agency will replace them with the correct documents in the coming weeks. The IRS also plans to contact all affected filers.

The agency said it was continuing to review the situation and would provide more details about it within the next 30 days.

The blunder comes shortly after Congress passed a landmark tax, climate and health care bill that will bolster IRS funding for improvements.