Friday, January 04, 2008

IRS Sides with Taxpayers vs. Tax Preparers on Privacy

The Internal Revenue Service has passed final regulations on tax preparer disclosure of taxpayer information to third parties; in addition, the IRS issued proposed regulations on marketing of tax refund anticipation loans. For third party disclosure to be permissable, tax preparers are required to get explicit permission and may not repeat requests for such permission. Additionally, the request for permission may not be in fine print and taxpayers may limit the time that permission is granted. The proposed refund loan marketing restrictions are based on an IRS assertion that loan-making give tax preparers an incentive to take overly aggressive tax positions.

Although I cringe at new government regulations, the content of the regulations is reasonable. Maybe I am too "old school," but it seems to me that tax preparation should be a service of good faith, not a retail opportunity.


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