IRS Transcripts
08 / 15 / 23

In the News: Report says IRS is Unable to Locate Millions of Tax Records


During a mandatory review of an IRS storage facility in Ogden, Utah, the IRS personnel were unable to locate as many as 168 microfilm backup cartridges, which are used to store old tax records. Each microfilm cartridge holds up to 2,000 photographic images, leaving thousands of tax records unaccounted for. Not to mention, the other microfilm cartridges containing millions of individual and business tax records for fiscal year 2010 that have also been reported missing. Those of which were supposed to be shipped from Fresno, California to Kansas City, Missouri when the Fresno facility shut down in 2021.

The Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA) said in a released report that it found significant deficiencies in the safeguarding and accounting of these tax records, which contain sensitive taxpayer information. The report stated, “The personal taxpayer and tax information included on these backup cartridges is key information that can be used to commit tax refund fraud identity theft,”.

It was also reported by the IRS watchdog that microfilm cartridges are stored on open shelving in the middle of a warehouse at the Ogden facility, where the agency personnel have reportedly not been performing the required annual inventories.

In response to the TIGIA’s report, IRS Wage and Investment Commissioner, Kenneth C. Corbin, defended the agency in a letter claiming that the persistent underfunding of the agency had forced it to redirect employees who were normally responsible for the cartridge inventories to higher priority work. Corbin also said that the agency is still sorting through shipments of tax records and that officials are “confident that as the backlog of non-tax documents is processed, the remaining cartridges will be incorporated.”

TIGTA will be implementing corrective action this October, which will include detailed inventory of all microfilm cartridges at the IRS’s processing centers and ensure inventories and reporting of discrepancies to management annually.