U.S. Rep. Tom Petri is introducing federal legislation to fix a loophole that the IRS claims prevents it from informing people if the IRS detects that their Social Security Number has been fraudulently used…
… One resident of Princeton, Wis., learned that he was a victim of the fraud as a result of a call from a debt collector, Petri said. The resident contacted the Internal Revenue Service to alert the agency that somebody was using his Social Security number illegally.
“To his surprise, he learned that the IRS already knew of the situation, had known for some time, and had chosen not to tell anybody,” said Tom Petri. “The IRS explained that it is legally required to protect the privacy of the person committing the fraud.”
Petri last week introduced legislation that, he said, would “require the IRS to fight on the side of the good guys.” Joining him in introducing the bill is Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill.
“Privacy laws are not intended to protect fraudsters or to enable illegal immigration,” Bean said. “If the IRS has information about identify theft, it should share that information immediately with law enforcement and affected parties.”
The Petri-Bean bill — known as the Social Security Identity Defense (SSIDA) Act — would require the IRS to inform a taxpayer when his or her Social Security number has been used fraudulently to gain employment; provide that the IRS share this information with the FBI and allow the FBI to make facts available to state and local law enforcement agencies; and prevent the appearance of a fraudulently used Social Security number on a W-2 statement.
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