May 26,2015

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515

Hatch Statement on IRS Data Breach

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) issued the following statement today after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a data breach that has put private taxpayer information at risk:

“Since learning of the breach, the Committee has been working with the IRS to better understand the nature of the attack, what information was compromised, and how such a devastating breach could occur. That the IRS – home to highly sensitive information on every single American and every single company doing business here at home – was vulnerable to this attack is simply unacceptable. What’s more, this agency has been repeatedly warned by top government watchdogs that its data security systems are inadequate against the growing threat of international hackers and data thieves.

“The first order of business is for the federal government to determine who was behind the attack and take aggressive action against them. Secondly, we must determine what information was stolen and how it will affect taxpayers. Finally, the Congress and the administration must work together to better protect taxpayer information from cyber threats. Taxpayers must know that the information they send to the IRS is secure. And hackers who would steal that information must know that they will suffer severe consequences for their crimes.”

NOTE: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen notified Chairman Hatch of the data breach late last week by phone. As with other law enforcement sensitive matters, the Committee did not disclose the breach because it relates to an ongoing investigation.