Peter, an electronics technician in New York, is telling the Internal Revenue Service that he earned $8,676 in 2005. He expects an $815 refund.
Robert, a Pennsylvania construction worker, earned $24,833 in 2004. Last year, he asked that the IRS send his $2,119 refund to his checking account.
Andrew and Elizabeth, a married couple in Connecticut, jointly earned $67,638. Their tax return lists the names and Social Security numbers of their daughters, too. The couple donated to their church ($500), an evangelical organization ($25) and a Bible club ($25).
How do I know that? Copies of their tax returns, along with others', sat on my desk last week. They were downloaded without the knowledge of their owners from their personal computers....
Seems alarmist to me -- most P2P clients do not share every type of file by default, and it would take a lot of digging to learn how to share tax returns. Besides, I know that I used to use WinMX (defunct now) and it prompted you for the directories you wanted to share. If you put your MP3 sermons and tax returns in the same folder, that's a whole different problem. So I think the media is going pretty far afield to try to scare people with this story. You'd have to go out of your way to share your tax returns.