The world continues to move upside down for Equifax. This time around, the company’s “taxpayer identity” contract with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been suspended. Recently, we saw Equifax go through another major issue, where their website was leading visitors to fake website that downloads malware onto their computers.
This didn’t sit well with the IRS. Last week, the Internal Revenue Service awarded a $7.2 million contract to Equifax and allow them to “verify taxpayer identity.” This was a controversial move because earlier, Equifax announce it had exposed personal data of more than 145 million people.
With the second mishap occurring, the IRS is now suspending the contract. This means that for now, taxpayers cannot open new Secure Access accounts with the IRS. Secure Access allows taxpayers to obtain various online tax records and provides other “tax account tools” to those who have signed up.
So what does the suspension mean, exactly? The IRS said that it is investigating the integrity and security of Equifax systems during the suspension. The suspension has a chance to be lifted if Equifax comes out clean, and that’s a big chance seeing as how troubled the company is right now.
“During this suspension, the IRS will continue its review of Equifax systems and security. The IRS emphasized that there is still no indication of any compromise of the limited IRS data shared under the contract,” Matthew Leas, an IRS spokesperson, said in a statement. “The contract suspension is being taken as a precautionary step as the IRS continues its review.” IRS Deputy Commissioner for Operations Jeffery Tribiano told Congress last week that the bureau was obligated, due to federal contracting rules, to award the contract to Equifax because the company did not want to lose the contract to another company.