Despite the requirement for the IRS to conduct annual inventories of microfilm backup cartridges containing sensitive taxpayer account information, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that the IRS has not only failed to meet this obligation, the IRS cannot even tell when the inventory was last performed. Microfilm cartridges stored at the Ogden Tax Processing Center are not adequately safeguarded because they are stored on open shelving in the middle of the files building in a large warehouse, acceptable to all personnel within the facility and not even within the eyesight of the personnel responsible for overseeing the microfilm.
For the past five years, 15 large pallets of microfilm cartridges required to be sent to the Federal Records Center, are instead stored at the IRS’ National Distribution Center.
Ironically, the IRS has also failed to destroy microfilm after 30-years, which is inconsistent with taxpayers’ ability to get records more than 10 years old.
To read the full report including TIGTA’s recommendations, click here.