Thursday, April 06, 2006

You want to do WHAT with my taxes?

Now, tax preparers who have your tax returns may sell it to whomever they choose, thanks in part to the proposed changes to the IRS's "privacy" regulations. Just like the department stores and your local mechanic, H&R Block or your local tax preparers will have your information, like your income, Social Security Number, driver's license number, employment history, etc., and they can share it with anybody, if the profit is good enough.

Now, from the regulations, they would have to give your consent. But, they can con you by saying it is for your own good. If they "share" your sensitive financial information, those people they share it with will know what products will be most helpful for you. How many times do you get a product in the mail and said, "Oh, that is exactly what I need!"?

Or you don't know what you're signing in the first place. They shuffle it in with all the rest of the tax forms, and you sign your life away when filling out your returns. Either way, they have you!

So, first of all, tell your tax preparer you should not be allowed to sell my information to anybody. There is a form by the National Consumer Law Center which specifies what should be done, and shouldn't be done to my tax information. The form simply states the tax preparers don't have my permission to disclose my information to others.

But, it is your tax preparers' choice whether or not they want to honor your wishes at tax time. I have a better idea. It will solve all the problems on this article, and it will give the power to you: 1) forbid to deduct taxes out of your paycheck, if you are employed [Subsection (n)], and 2) simply don't file.

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