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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2006
AG McKenna Opposes Proposed IRS Rule; Says Selling Tax Returns Raises Risk of Identity Theft (Radio Version)

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today voiced opposition to a proposed IRS rule expanding third-party access to information from individual tax returns.

The proposal would allow private information from tax forms– including Social Security numbers, addresses, medical expenses, information about dependents, income and bank account numbers– to be exchanged with the written consent of the taxpayer.

McKenna joined U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Mountlake Terrace, and others at a Seattle roundtable event in voicing concerns that taxpayers may inadvertently sign away their rights to privacy in the rush to file their tax returns. The current IRS rules strictly limit access to returns.

ACTUALITY: “The proposed IRS rule turns current taxpayer privacy protections on their head. Consumers need to remember that sensitive tax return information in the hands of a dishonest person can result in identity theft, financial crimes or even physical harm.” (14.5 seconds)

While the formal comment period for the proposed rule change ended, IRS said comments may still be directed to: Dillon Taylor at the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel, 202-622-7752, 202-622-4940 or dillon.j.taylor@irscounsel.treas.gov

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office has been a leader on identity theft and privacy issues. McKenna convened Washington’s first statewide Identity Theft Summit last fall, then testified on behalf of legislation that would have amended the state’s credit report security freeze law to protect more consumers. McKenna also solicited additional funds from the Legislature for the Consumer Protection Division, part of which were used to hire two new attorneys and a computer forensics investigator to fight identity theft and high-tech fraud.

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Media contactss

 Kristin Alexander, Public Information Officer, (206) 464-6432

Janelle Guthrie, Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725

 

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