Dallas (July 18, 2002) -- Last week's release by the IRS of confidential tax data on many prominent U.S. citizens, including a current candidate for governor of California, demonstrates the IRS's total disregard for the privacy of U.S. taxpayers, according to Tom Giovanetti, president of the Institute for Policy Innovation, a nonprofit public policy research organization based in Dallas.According to a recently concluded IPI study entitled "Tax Reform: The Key to Preserving Privacy and Competition in a Global Economy, the personal income tax requires individuals to either disclose or make available upon demand almost every shred of their personal financial data to the IRS. This represents a sweeping but unnecessary assault on privacy, according to Dan Mitchell, the author of the study.

"Fundamental tax reform is the solution to an invasive tax code that gives government the right to know every detail about a taxpayer's financial existence," said Mitchell. "Bad tax policy undermines financial privacy. Reforming the tax code -- and resisting increasing pressures from overseas to reveal even more private financial information -- will protect Americans' right to financial privacy."

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