Hackers actually gained access to 330,000 accounts and attempted to break in to an additional 280,000. Hackers used Social Security numbers & info stolen from other sources to log into the IRS Get Transcript service and view prior-year tax returns. The idea was to use the information to file fraudulent tax returns with tax refunds sent to the criminals.
Letters will be going out this week to the taxpayers whose returns were accessed and taxpayers will be offered free access to a credit-monitoring service with sign-up information in the letters received from the IRS.
The IRS has temporarily shut down the Get Transcript online service. If you need a copy of a past tax return you will have to get it through the Get Transcript by Mail service, or order an actual copy on IRS Form 4506 for a fee of $50 per return.