Wyden: Concerns over tax preparers sharing confidential data

By U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
Press Release

Wyden, Colleagues Demand Answers from Tax Prep Companies After FTC Warns of Improper Sharing of Confidential Data

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said he and six congressional colleagues are demanding answers from five tax preparation companies that recently received notices of penalty offenses from the Federal Trade Commission.

The lawmakers sought those answers in letters sent to H&R Block, TaxAct, TaxSlayer, Ramsey Solutions, and Intuit regarding the improper sharing of taxpayer’s sensitive and confidential information with Meta (formerly Facebook Inc.).

“The FTC’s warning followed the release of our months-long investigation revealing that major tax preparation companies sent tens of millions of Americans’ sensitive personal data to Meta without providing appropriate disclosures or obtaining taxpayer consent—in apparent violation of taxpayer privacy laws,” the lawmakers wrote. “Accordingly, we write to confirm that, in accordance with the FTC’s notice of penalty offenses, your company is not engaged and will not be engaged in any further abuses of taxpayer privacy.”

In their letters, lawmakers reiterated their support for Direct File, an IRS initiative that would let Americans file their taxes online and directly with the federal government for free. They also asked a series of questions to determine whether the tax preparation companies have been and will be compliant with the FTC’s recent notice and to further ensure that taxpayer privacy will not be violated in this way again. They have demanded answers by Nov. 8, 2023.

In addition to Wyden, other lawmakers signing the letters were U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.); Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.); and U.S. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.).

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