Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Friday, July 12, 2002
So Much For IRS Confidentiality
Nobody seems to be picking up on a much bigger & scarier issue with this story about the news that certain people have been using tax shelters that IRS doesn't like. The income tax system is based on a degree of privacy & confidentiality. People are supposed to reveal their financial matters to IRS with the understanding that it will not be made public. IRS has violated this understanding in a big way here.
Whether you agree with what these people have done or not is beside the point. How would you like it if all of your personal tax info were opened up to the public for scrutiny and ridicule and use by political opponents?
If IRS is allowed to get away with this approach of trying to publicly humiliate people by revealing their tax returns, it will reduce their already low regard even further. This will only result in less disclosure to IRS. People won't stop doing these kinds of things. They will just set up additional layers of organizations to hide behind.
I encourage anyone who is as upset about this underhanded IRS strategy to let your elected rulers in DC know that they must take action right away to cease all such disclosures. If this isn't nipped in the bud soon, don't be surprised if your personal tax info finds its way onto the front page of your local paper in the near future.