E-filing of tax returns adds to SC hacking's cost

By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Taxpayer concerns about last fall's hacking of a South Carolina state agency are expected to lead to fewer online tax filings, potentially adding several hundred thousand dollars to the debacle's nearly $22 million price tag.

Department of Revenue officials insist it's safe to e-file. But they're preparing for fewer online filings this tax season.

The agency estimates needing 25 part-time workers to key in information. But spokeswoman Samantha Cheek stresses the exact number will depend on the number of paper returns filed.

Under current projections, the agency could spend an additional $300,000 to $400,000 on paper processing. Beyond the two dozen employees, costs include extra postage, paper and printing of correspondence.

The cyber-thief stole unencrypted data from millions of taxpayers who filed electronically over the last 14 years.

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