- Days left
There's a very simple rule at the Internal Revenue Service: Employees are only supposed to look at tax records which are required to do their jobs. They're not supposed to look at anyone else's records. Not their neighbors. Not the ex-wife. Not a celebrity. Those records are off-limits.

The Treasury Inspector General has reported that in fiscal 2007, they opened 521 investigations related to employees snooping into tax records. In fiscal 2006, there were 448 investigations opened. That's a 16% increase in fiscal 2007.

The number of "adverse administrative actions" against IRS employees has gone up too, more than doubling between 2006 and 2007.

"The numbers aren't so bad," you might think. Guess again. Those are only the people who actually got caught snooping. Imagine how many other employees are snooping too. The IRS says the investigations involved fewer than 1% of employees, but as a taxpayer, that doesn't make me feel any better.

Of any agency that should be protecting our personal information it should be the IRS. I don't care if the number of employees accessing information without authorization is low. It still bothers me, particularly when identity theft is such a concern.

Forensic accountant Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations through her company, Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners honored Tracy as the 2007 winner of the prestigious Hubbard Award and her first book, Essentials of Corporate Fraud, will be on bookshelves in March 2008.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Basics Of The Stock Market

Stock Market 101 - everything you need to know but were afraid to ask!

View Course »

Introduction to Retirement Funds

Target date funds help you maintain a long term portfolio.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Rental Property Deductions You Can Take at Tax Time

Rental property often offers larger deductions and tax benefits than most investments. Many of these are overlooked by landlords at tax time. This can make a difference in making a profit or losing money on your real estate venture. If you own a rental property, the IRS allows you to deduct expenses you pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, conserving and managing the property, and other expenses deemed necessary and associated with property rental.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum