It's a damn good thing that I do my own taxes... even with the consent form being involved, how many preparers do you think are going to get "wise" and start burying the form among other things for a person to sign to try and trick them into signing it? A privacy advocate's worst nightmare... ok, next to all the crap that Bush has pulled since he's been in office.
What's especially wrong about this is that the first announcement wore the headline "IRS Issues Proposed Regulations to Safeguard Taxpayer Information". That couldn't be more of a lie than it is.
More choice quotes:
"The heart of this proposed regulation is about the right of taxpayers to control their tax return information." - William M. Cressman, IRS spokesperson
Right... for the longest time, taxpayers were guaranteed that their tax return info wouldn't be used to produce more snail-mail/phone spam to deal with, but now they'll have a choice. Who in their right mind actually enjoys getting that kind of thing?
This same person couldn't figure out "why this issue has come up at this time other than our effort to update regulations that date back to the 1970s and predate the electronic era."
What I can't figure out is how the two things are related. Electronic processing of taxes has absolutely nothing to do with tax preparers being able to sell a person's information to whomever they see fit.