Oh, what the f…
One of the few comforts you can enjoy about tax time is that your information — your wages, assets, expenses, and personal data — are shared only between you, the government, and any tax agents you may use. No third parties can use it to target you for advertising or offers.
But the IRS may be revising its rules to allow tax preparers to share or sell customer information to third parties and database brokers, as part of a sweeping change to its privacy regulations.
The information that goes on your tax return is probably the most sensitive information that can possibly be in circulation. Income, assets, bank accounts, social security card numbers — this information is a gold mine for identity thieves. Given the recent slate of data loss and security breaches in companies we trust with our personal records, who feels comfortable with H.R. Block distributing this information willy-nilly to the highest bidding database broker, thereby increasing the chances of the information being stolen by Siberian hackers somewhere? Raise your hands, so I can lop them off at the wrist.
We already know this isn’t going to benefit consumers at all, so you’ve just got to wonder how this revision of the current tax rules works out to the advantage of the I.R.S.