Thursday, September 20, 2012

[USA] IRS Doesn't Consider Genealogy Humane

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Below is a link to an advance copy of IRS [Internal Revenue Service] Revenue Procedure 2012-35 effective August 31, 2012
http://benefitslink.com/src/irs/revproc2012-35.pdf

Evidently, the IRS for "humane" reasons will forward a letter for those who are attempting to locate missing persons.  This "service" is available to private individuals and state and federal agencies.  What they have done is define this service for humane reasons.  What the IRS has determined (see Section 4.02) are examples not considered as humane including: "tracing a family tree or attempting to locate individuals for reunion purposes " . What is also ironic is that the requestor must provide the missing person's
Social Security Number along with the letter to be forwarded.  The IRS is one of the government agencies trying to prevent the public, including genealogists from accessing Social Security Numbers through the SSDI (Social Security Death Index). For single individual requests there is no charge. For requests of 50 or more the charge is mentioned in the revised procedure.

Thank you to Ken Ryseky for alerting us to this recent IRS revenue
procedure.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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