(Reuters) – A surge in tax refund fraud and identity theft has prompted the Internal Revenue Service to consider sharing more tax return information with police, a senior official told a congressional hearing on Tuesday.
In a move that could spark concerns over personal privacy, the IRS said it is considering a pilot program in Tampa, Florida, where identity theft and refund fraud are rife.
“We are limited in what we can supply to local law enforcement,” said Steven Miller, deputy IRS commissioner for services and enforcement.
Tax return information is normally kept tightly secret by the IRS. Under the program, exceptions could be made, with the permission of victims of identity theft and tax refund fraud, so that bogus tax return documents could be shared with police.