Hackers may have compromised the personal data of almost 100,000 taxpayers through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the IRS confirmed.
Hackers posed as students using FAFSA’s data retrieval tool, which makes it easy for students and parents to automatically upload their tax returns.
The IRS suspected suspicious activity within the tool several months ago but didn’t take it down until March 3.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee he didn’t want to shut the link down until they had evidence of a real risk.
The IRS is notifying the affected taxpayers.
Extra security protections must be added before the tool is made available again, which won't be until next financial aid season.