Category Archives: Legislation & Regs

IRS Plans to Allow Preparers to Sell Data

From the Philadelphia Inquirer: IRS Plans to Allow Preparers to Sell Data

The IRS is quietly moving to loosen the once-inviolable privacy of federal income-tax returns. If it succeeds, accountants and other tax-return preparers will be able to sell information from individual returns – or even entire returns – to marketers and data brokers.
The change is raising alarm among consumer and privacy-rights advocates. It was included in a set of proposed rules that the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Dec. 8 Federal Register, where the official notice labeled them “not a significant regulatory action.”

The proposed rule is available via GPO Access.
Thanks to my colleague, Margaret Booth for the tip,

Governor Signs Virtual Visitation Bill

On March 22, Governor Doyle signed Senate Bill 244, creating 2005 Wisconsin Act 174, which provides for supervised electronic communication between a parent and child after a divorce or legal separation, if allowed by the court.
For more, see the article in JS Online.

Some family law experts said the Wisconsin legislation wasn’t necessary because judges could already allow for such visitations, and some fear parents could be forced to exchange face time with their children for electronic visits if the law isn’t applied appropriately.
But supporters argue that it’s important to formally add electronic visitation to the list of options available to judges, so they feel compelled to consider it when requested.

WI Act Discourages Use of SSNs on Public Documents

WisPolitics reports that Governor Doyle signed into law consumer protection legislation known as the Register of Deeds Privacy Act (2005 Wisconsin Act 139). The act reduces public access to Social Security numbers on documents filed with the state’s seventy-two registers of deeds offices.

The bill uses a two-pronged approach for discouraging the practice of placing Social Security numbers on documents to be recorded in the offices of the register of deeds. First, the bill allows the register of deeds to reject the document from filing, something they are not permitted to do under current law. Secondly, the legislation would make the practice of filing records with a Social Security number illegal, and would provide the victim of identity theft recourse against the party responsible for not blocking out Social Security numbers.