House Bill H.R. 2975, the Patriot Act of 2001, if made into law, will authorize disclosure of taxpayer information to the Justice and Treasury departments, federal law enforcement, as well as federal intelligence agencies that are investigating terrorist organizations and related activities.
Some tax practitioners have voiced a concern that such a bill will weaken important restrictions on disclosing tax information.
The bill was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI), and includes such topics as seizure of voice mail messages, subpoenas for records of electronic communications, search warrants for electronic evidence, disclosure of the contents of electronic communications, access to certain business records, including books, records, papers, and documents, penalties for terrorist offenses, and much more.
The tax return disclosure provision of this bill would expire on December 31, 2003.
You can read the full text of the bill by going to the Thomas Web site and entering "h.r. 2975" in the Bill Number option.