The House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 1677, the "Taxpayer Protection Act of 2007," which seeks to crack down on RALs and prevent identity theft. The bill would:
- Allow both spouses in a family-owned sole proprietorship to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (see details on pages 2-4 of the bill);
- Require IRS to cease providing debt indicators to predatory RAL providers—and leave it to the Treasury Department to determine the definition of "predatory." (EAs may recall that when IRS eliminated the debt indicator altogether in the mid-1990s, RAL volumes took a nosedive.);
- Prohibit the misleading use of Internet domain names such as irs.com, irs.net, and irs.org;
- Require IRS to notify a taxpayer when there may be an unauthorized use of the taxpayer's identity; and,
- Permit IRS to share tax information with federal prison officials in order to prevent tax fraud by prisoners.
While it does not include NAEA's idea of real taxpayer protection (regulation of all tax return preparers), the bill could nevertheless become a vehicle for such legislation further down the road. The full House is expected to take up the bill in mid-April.