Punditocracy Scorecard: Allan R. Pearlman Quoted re IRS Security Breaches

A reporter for the monthly periodical, Infotech & Telecom News, recently asked me about the IRS’s practices and procedures for protecting taxpayers’ confidential personal information.

He then quoted me in an article titled “IRS Computer Security Procedures Criticized,” which just came out, in the April 2009 issue.

You can see it online by clicking on this link: http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/24863/IRS_Computer_Security_Procedures_Criticized.html or by using this shorter link: http://tinyurl.com/cvn2fq.

The House (Probably) Can Tell Us Which Bailout Recipients Owe the IRS — And Should

One has to wonder if the House Ways and Means Committee’s subcommittee on oversight got it right when it told reporters that it could not legally release the names of the companies who received bailout money while owing back taxes, two of which owe more than $100 million each. (See Associated Press article, “Some Getting Bailout Cash Owe Millions In Back Taxes,” in the New York Times on 3/20/2009 A19 col. 6.)

Ordinarily, a taxpayer’s tax information, whether it is an individual or a business, is treated as very private, very secret. In fact, IRS employees can be, and are, fired, criminally charged, convicted, and sentenced for the Unauthorized Inspection of Tax Return Information or Accessing of Tax Account Information.

But, when a taxpayer is late in paying a tax bill, these super-strong privacy rules don’t fully apply anymore.

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