Confidentiality For Criminals

Finding yourself the victim of tax artifice is a arresting and afflicted experience. Now some taxpayers acquisition their annoyance needlessly continued by the Internal Revenue Service itself.

Sloppy practices and abominable basement accept led to the accepted adventurous of tax artifice via character theft. The aftereffect has been several actor Americans who had to accord with allotment falsely filed in their names.

If I were a victim of such fraud, I would logically aboriginal wish to apperceive the admeasurement of the damage, so I ability do as Tim Loo did. Loo told Bloomberg that he contacted the IRS to ask for a archetype of the submitted return. The Service refused, pointing to a area of the tax cipher that banned the absolution of aborigine information. (1)

If I filed a acknowledgment with the IRS for myself, the acquaintance aphorism acutely would apply. If I filed a acknowledgment for my aged mother, the acquaintance aphorism would aswell acutely apply. But what would appear if somebody claiming to be me filed a return, claiming it to be mine, in adjustment to abduct the government’s money (since the government will accomplish me whole)?

The area of the tax cipher in catechism is Area 6103: “Confidentiality and acknowledgment of allotment and acknowledgment information.” (2) Protecting aborigine aloofness is a analytical aspect in our historically self-reported and self-assessed tax system, and the IRS is appropriate to yield it seriously. The law can amerce bureau workers agonizingly for crooked acknowledgment of claimed information. But the appliance of Area 6103 in cases area apocryphal allotment accept been fraudulently filed in the name of a aborigine is, to say the least, dubious.

The IRS has allegedly taken the position, at atomic in some cases, that this aphorism bureau it cannot acquaint me what apocryphal address was fabricated in my name if I am the victim of this array of fraud. Clearly, the counterfeit acknowledgment was not filed by me or on my behalf. Therefore, accustomed the diction of the law, the government seems to be adage that, because the perpetuators of the artifice ability accept put absolute advice about themselves or anyone abroad – such as a being fraudulently claimed as a abased – on the return, the endure allotment of the aphorism applies (information “with account to any person”) (2).

The botheration is that this position artlessly does not accomplish sense. I am not allurement to see anyone else’s apocryphal return. I’m allurement to see the acknowledgment that was filed beneath my name. I can’t see how there is any way to accomplish this aphorism administer in the way the IRS says it does.

The Service itself does not assume to see the amount consistently. In Loo’s attack to get a archetype of his apocryphal return, he referred to a 2012 announcement on the IRS website suggesting tax artifice victims may be advantaged to a archetype of the counterfeit acknowledgment and accompanying information. And the Aborigine Advocate Service has asked that the bureau abate the accountability on victims by demography actively the appulse character annexation can have, above a acquittance gone astray.

The acquaintance rules are there for a reason, and they bind a abundant deal. No one can dig up Mitt Romney’s acknowledgment and point to a answer for acreage taxes on assorted houses in adjustment to politically abash him, for example. But the acquaintance rules chronicle to a taxpayer’s own privacy. No aborigine is finer affiliated any abeyant advice on my academic apish acknowledgment – except for me. In adjustment to apperceive what is happening, I charge to see it.

The IRS is chargeless – in fact, answerable in assertive diplomacy – to accord taxpayers advice about their own tax affairs. With this apocryphal return, added humans accept injected themselves into those affairs. That is their fault, not the victims’ doing.

I accept no botheration with the allegedly newfound account for aloofness rules and aborigine rights at the IRS. In fact, I acclaim it. But it would be accessible if the bureau accepted the rules it was apropos first. All it has done in this case is add to the amount and ache of taxpayers who accept already been victimized by the government’s afraid systems – systems that the IRS has either adopted itself or apprenticed the tax acquiescence industry to authorize and use.

This, by the way, is a accepted declining not just at the IRS, but at all levels of government. Aborigine and accessible costs don’t appear from an official budget, so there is a addiction to discount them.

In this instance, the botheration is as arrant as it is silly. Once an alone has abundantly accurate his or her character to the IRS, that alone is advantaged to all the advice in the agency’s control about his or her accurate tax affairs. That includes advice about artifice conducted application the taxpayer’s name and information. This should be self-evident, admitting evidently, it is not.

If the bearings is not bright to the IRS, it care not to be a botheration to get a simple, bipartisan fix in place, even with this Congress and administration. No one with any faculty will altercate adjoin it.


1) Bloomberg, “Why the IRS Won’t Acquaint Artifice Victims What Thieves Stole”

2) Legal Advice Institute, “26 U.S. Cipher § 6103 – Acquaintance and acknowledgment of allotment and acknowledgment information”