UPMC employees' tax returns delayed due to 2014 data breach

Officials at Pittsburgh-based UPMC have notified employees they may face delays in filing their tax returns, as the IRS has set identity protections in place following a data breach that occurred last year, according to WTAE.

In April 2014, UPMC reported a data breach after hackers accessed the hospital's payroll software provider and accessed information including employees' Social Security numbers. All 62,000 UPMC employees were affected.

Now, in the midst of tax filing season, employees may face delays in receiving tax returns as the IRS is taking extra steps to flag certain changes in their tax filings, according to the WTAE report, which obtained a copy of the memo sent to employees.

Officials said in the memo they do not know what changes the IRS is flagging as "risky," but the changes are designed to catch fraudulent activity, such as a change in address.

The IRS has started mailing letters to UPMC employees who have filed their taxes. The memo says receiving a letter from the IRS does not indicate the employee is a victim of tax fraud, only that the IRS has received the filed return and needs more information to confirm the individual's identity.

"Although some staff may have their refunds delayed for several weeks by this process, it does provide an extra layer of protection against tax fraud," according to the memo.

More articles on data breaches:

Fear of data breaches leads 21% of patients to withhold information from physicians
Physician wrongfully removed patient records from San Francisco hospital
Breach victims three times more likely to become identity theft victims

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