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Consumer groups ask IRS to close privacy loophole that lets tax preparers give tax information to refund anticipation lenders

Currently, IRS rules at 301 C.F.R. § 301.7216-3 permit tax preparers to use
confidential taxpayer return information to sell products, such as RALs, RACs and
similar products, to consumers. All that the tax preparer needs to obtain for this
marketing is the taxpayer’s signature on a piece of paper, which is easily obtained. The
preparer is then free to use the information in the taxpayer’s return to promote RALs, and to share the taxpayer’s return with the RAL lender in order to make the loan.