The security of the Internal Revenue Service’s new online app for requesting tax transcripts is receiving extra scrutiny after the security and vulnerability to identity theft has been questioned, but the IRS contended it is taking steps to safeguard the security of the service.

The IRS introduced the Get Transcript online service this tax season as a way to provide self-service for taxpayers and offer more efficiency during a period of successive budget cuts at the agency that have reduced phone service for taxpayers. The service allows taxpayers to get a record of their past tax returns, known as a transcript. IRS transcripts are often used to validate income and tax filing status for mortgage applications, student and small business loan applications and during tax preparation, the IRS noted on the Web page for the service. With the service users can download and print their transcript immediately, or request the transcript be mailed to their address on record.

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