Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Farewell to privacy

IRS plans to allow preparers to sell data:
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.
Very, very bad. Senator Obama objected, saying "There is no more sensitive information than a taxpayer's return, and the IRS's proposal to allow these returns to be sold to third-party marketers and database brokers is deeply troubling."

The new rules would require written consent, which would probably be buried in the boilerplate of tax preparers' contracts. Read those agreements, and be prepared to do your own taxes next year.