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President Obama Signs Bill Allowing IRS to Share Information in Missing Child Cases


Posted on July 18, 2016

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you learned that proposed legislation called the Recovering Missing Children Act would allow the IRS to disclose tax return information to state and local law enforcement officials that have court orders and are working with federal agencies to recover missing children.

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed the Recovering Missing Children Act into law.  According to Senate Finance Committee member Robert P. Casey Jr., D-Pa., who cosponsored a Senate version of the bill, “President Obama’s signature on this bill gives hope to those searching for a lost loved one.  A missing child is a parent’s worst nightmare; this legislation provides a new tool for law enforcement and families during their time of crisis.”

The law limits the use of tax return information to efforts to find a missing child, to a grand jury proceeding or in preparing for judicial or administrative proceedings.

Although we hope that the law’s execution is successful in finding missing children, we question the true utility of this law.  The information on a tax return that would potentially identify a missing child would generally be a dependency exemption, a child care tax credit and other related credits.

However, if you have absconded with a child, there are likely easier ways to identify the missing child than through a tax return.  What do you think?


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