VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Several taxpayers in Virginia Beach tell News 3 they received their neighbors' state tax forms.
Del. Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) says the Virginia Dept. of Taxation told him the issue is impacting about 13,000 people in the city.
The neighbors tell News 3 1099-G forms were addressed to them, but when they open the envelopes the form actually belongs to their neighbors.
The forms contain the last four digits of people's Social Security numbers as well as the amount of refund they are receiving.
Del. Anderson told News 3 the Dept. of Taxation is now re-sending the forms to correct the issues. He hopes neighbors will help each other out and exchange forms, but is calling the situation a "data breach."
Anderson says he's been in touch with the Youngkin administration about the state providing credit monitoring services and is filing legislation also to address the issue.
"Somebody made a mistake, and they made a big one," Anderson said. "It happened and the remedy is to provide the affected with credit monitoring services, so that if someone is trying to steal your identity you get alerts from the credit monitoring services."
In response to questions from News 3, the Dept. of Taxation told News 3 the regret the error, adding, "Virginia Tax takes protection of taxpayer information very seriously. We are addressing a reported issue affecting printed 1099-Gs for a number of taxpayers in the Virginia Beach area. We have thoroughly investigated this matter with the vendor and identified the specific taxpayers affected. Fortunately, any personal account information on the Form 1099-G is redacted, so the information of those taxpayers affected remains safe and secured."
Neighbors News 3 spoke with say they do not feel "safe and secured."
"I think there's a panic involved with that. You worry about the security of your information and the fact the government handed your information to someone," said Laura Roberts, who was able to get her correct form from a neighbor.
"It does not make me feel very secure because my name, address, and social security number are inside and together with other things, it could be a big problem as far as security goes," said Judith Barclay, who doesn't know where her form is.
Barclay actually received Roberts' form and was able to deliver it to her. "I think it's an unfortunate error and it should've been caught," said Barclay.
News 3 asked whether credit monitoring services would be offered, and this is what the department said:
“While we remain confident that taxpayer data is safe and secure, we understand that those directly affected by this issue have concerns. We are exploring options to alleviate those concerns and will provide further information once we have finalized the details.“
The City of Virginia Beach released a statement Tuesday saying:
Virginia Beach residents who received incorrect Form 1099-Gs in error have been identified and will receive corrected forms as well as a letter of explanation from the Virginia Department of Taxation.
A batch of Form 1099-Gs that were sent to a group of taxpayers in Virginia Beach from the Virginia Department of Taxation included incorrect information. As a result, a group of taxpayers received information intended for other taxpayers. The error was limited in scope and only affected some Virginia Beach taxpayers. The affected residents are asked to destroy any incorrect forms they may have received.
Taxpayers can conveniently access their own Form 1099-G using the Virginia Tax Lookup Tool: https://www.individual.tax.virginia.gov/1099G/login.jsf.
For more information or with any questions related to this incident, please contact the Department of Taxation at (804) 367-8031 or https://www.tax.virginia.gov/contact-us.
Should Virginia Beach taxpayers be unable to make contact with the Department of Taxation, the Commissioner of the Revenue may be able to provide assistance. Please call 385-4483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.