It’s Really Stupid

April 12th, 2006

An IRS Privacy Nightmare

April 11, 2006

This column was written by Peter Rothberg.

The IRS has quietly proposed astounding new rules which would allow tax preparers to sell the contents of their client’s tax returns to third-party businesses, as long as a requisite form is signed. Historically, tax returns were a strictly private affair, with both tax preparers and IRS agents forbidden to share the info with anyone for any reason. But this could all change if the IRS’s blatant corporate giveaway is passed. That’s great news for “data-brokers” like Choicepoint that make tens of millions of dollars selling personal information to corporate marketers.

Here’s how the new rules would work: When you visit your accountant or a tax-preparation firm like H&R Block, your tax preparer would ask you to sign a form authorizing them to release your information at their discretion. Once you sign that form, your tax preparer has permission to sell or share the information contained in your tax filings. You have no control over how that data will be used, who will get it, or whether it will be adequately safeguarded from identity thieves.


I assume your SSN is on US tax returns and this would be replaced by a RealID number and these can be cross referenced to health care provision, your driver’s license, credit card company, real estate. It’s almost as if they want your personal information to be insecure – so they can develop a ‘solution’ to their imposed problem.

Total Insanity!!!!!!

One Response to “It’s Really Stupid”

  1. irdial Says:

    Total Finland!

    In Finland, everyone’s tax returns are available to anyone else:

    Have you ever wondered what your colleagues are earning? Have you ever wondered what your peer group are earning? Your next door neigbour? Your cousin? A guy you went to school with?

    Finland takes “nosy-ness” to new dizzying heights. Finland is the most transparent public sector in the world but for those who think everyone should follow their lead, think about this. Think about this very very carefully.

    All individual tax returns are public. Public. Yes. Public. No ATO secrecy and caring about your privacy for the Finnish Vero.


    and their constitution seems to be teh f00bar:

    Republic of Finland

    Section 8 of The Constitution Act of Finland states,

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