YOU DON’T MIND IF WE SEND YOUR 1040 FORM TO YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY, DO YOU?….Say what?
The IRS is quietly moving to loosen the once-inviolable privacy of federal income-tax returns. If it succeeds, accountants and other tax-return preparers will be able to sell information from individual returns ? or even entire returns ? to marketers and data brokers.
….Critics call the changes a dangerous breach in personal and financial privacy. They say the requirement for signed consent would prove meaningless for many taxpayers, especially those hurriedly reviewing stacks of documents before a filing deadline.
“The normal interaction is that the taxpayer just signs what the tax preparer puts in front of them,” said Jean Ann Fox of the Consumer Federation of America, one of several groups fighting the changes. “They think, ‘This person is a tax professional, and I’m going to rely on them.’ “
The IRS was unable to explain why this regulation had suddenly been proposed. Their spokesman just shrugged and suggested it was routine housekeeping to keep up with the electronic revolution. Sure it was. H&R Block, unsurprisingly, “did not respond to requests for comment.”
Welcome to George Bush’s IRS. Your whole life is now for sale as long as it benefits someone who’s a Republican campaign contributor.