Who says the main purpose of government isnt to shake down people for money????
Marketers could buy your tax returns Change proposed by IRS, Treasury
Philadelphia Inquirer Mar. 22, 2006 12:00 AM
The Internal Revenue Service is quietly moving to loosen the once-inviolable privacy of federal income-tax returns: If it succeeds, accountants and other tax-return preparers will for the first time be able to sell information from individual returns, or even entire returns, to marketers and data brokers.
The change is raising alarm among consumer and privacy rights advocates. It was included in a set of proposed rules that the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Dec. 8 Federal Register, where the official notice labeled them "not a significant regulatory action."
IRS officials portray the changes as housecleaning measures needed to update outmoded regulations adopted before it began accepting returns electronically.
The proposed rules, which would become effective 30 days after a final version is published, would require a tax preparer to obtain written consent before selling tax information.
Critics call the changes a dangerous new 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.