Vermont tax agency posts social security numbers, federal tax IDs online

The personal data were contained in a weekly batch of property transfer tax returns, according to a report by the Burlington Free Press citing a Vermont Department of Taxes statement. The information was available for viewing for two hours on a vendor portion of the tax department's website, the statement said.

The tax department said that the risk of identity theft is minimal because it identified only three parties in the real estate business who were known to have accessed the information. Those parties did not disseminate the information, according to the department statement.

"All affected taxpayers will receive a letter alerting them that their personal information was inadvertently disclosed", the statement said. Those letters are to be mailed by Saturday.

The taxpayers whose information was disclosed may call the tax department for more details and will be kept informed of developments and of credit monitoring procedures, the department said.

The department intends to strengthen the procedures related to the publication of property tax report. The state's Taxpayer Advocate will prepare a report with recommendations for avoiding such inadvertent disclosures in the future, it said.

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