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Both the electronic filing PIN tool on IRS. gov and the toll-free phone service were shut down last week due to increased automated bot attacks on the platform. A similar increase was detected in February, but the service was kept online since it was the middle of tax season and the e-filing pin system was used in nearly all commercial tax programs. The IRS added more defenses to processing systems to examine tax returns more closely during that time period as an alternative to shutting down the program.

The shutdown is only expected to impact a smaller number of taxpayers who haven't filed their returns this year and need a replacement e-file PIN. Nonetheless, this latest incident is yet another reason to safeguard personal and financial information and be cautious when conducting online transactions.