A group of Democratic senators is urging federal law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute some of the most popular online tax filing companies for allegedly sharing the financial data of millions of taxpayers with Meta and Google.
On Tuesday, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and others called on the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, the Treasury Department and the IRS to investigate whether TaxSlayer, H&R Block and TaxAct violated taxpayer laws. privacy laws by sharing sensitive user information with the two technology companies.
The senators also announced your own report Wednesday detailing the allegations, raised for the first time by The market last november. The report alleges that, for years, tax preparation companies infused their products with tracking pixels from Meta and Google that revealed identifying information such as a user’s full name, address, and date of birth. The senators also suggest that some of the information provided, such as the forms a user accessed, could be used to show “whether taxpayers were eligible for certain deductions or exemptions.”
The senators claim that the companies did not receive user consent to share this information, which could violate laws that prohibit tax preparers from sharing tax return information with third parties, especially since much of this information could be used for illegal purposes. advertising.
“The findings of this report reveal a shocking violation of taxpayer privacy by tax preparation companies and big tech companies that appeared to be violating taxpayer rights and may have violated taxpayer privacy law. the senators said in their letter on Tuesday.
TaxSlayer, H&R Block, and TaxAct confirmed that they shared “extensive taxpayer data” via the Meta pixel in the senators’ report. After The market published its November findings, each of the companies said they had “removed or disabled” it from their websites.