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IRS Commissioner to Face Questions About Security Weaknesses

FILE - IRS Commissioner John Koskinen arrives to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs hearing.

Government watchdogs warned the Internal Revenue Service about security flaws in the federal tax collection agency's computer systems years before hackers stole the personal information of thousands of taxpayers from an IRS website.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is heading to Capitol Hill Tuesday to answer questions about why the tax agency didn't address those weaknesses.

In October, the agency's inspector general said securing taxpayer and employee data was the IRS's top management challenge. More recently, the Government Accountability Office issued a report in March that identified dozens of weaknesses in IRS computer security.

Criminals stole the personal information of 104,000 taxpayers from an IRS website. Officials believe the theft was part of a scheme to claim fraudulent tax refunds.

The IRS blames budget cuts for hampering the agency's ability to upgrade its computer systems.