But in actuality the new proposals will for the first time allow tax preparers to sell the information in tax returns to marketing & data brokering companies. Previously tax return information was considered private and sacrosanct. The new regulation proposal was published in the Federal Register last Dec 8th, under a label that said it was "not a significant regulatory action."
If the new regulation goes into effect then tax preparers, tax preparation software and websites will be required by law to offer you the opportunity to "opt out" of having your tax return data sold to others. Vigilance may be required.
IRS spokesperson William Cressman defended the rule change in obfuscating language that would have impressed Orwell. "The heart of this proposed regulation is about the right of taxpayers to control their tax return information," he explained. "The idea is to emphasize taxpayer consent and set clear boundaries on how tax return preparers can use or disclose tax return information."
You will be in charge, you see, because you will have the power to search for and uncheck the little box that allows your tax information to be marketed.
The IRS says it's too late for the public to provide comment by email, but for a short time they will still accept comments mailed to
CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-137243-02)Before yesterday, the IRS had only gotten about a dozen comments on the proposed rule change. Read more about this here on the Philadelphia Daily News website.
Internal Revenue Service, Box 7604
Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C. 20044