July 8, 2016
President Barack Obama recently signed legislation into law that U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) authored to allow investigators to use tax records to locate and rescue missing children.
The Recovering Missing Children Act, H.R. 3209, authorizes the IRS to release tax information to investigators to help solve child abductions by family members. There are approximately 200,000 such cases reported each year.
“This new law will help reunite families by giving law enforcement the critical and necessary tools to fill the ‘information gap’ in missing and abducted children cases,” Paulsen said. “The Recovering Missing Children Act is a commonsense fix that will change the lives of children and families who face these scary and heartbreaking situations all across the country. I’m proud to have taken the lead on such an important issue and would like to thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their support.”
In an address on the House floor, Paulsen cited research that found that the perpetrators of a “significant number of child abductions” file tax returns using the child’s Social Security number and current address.
“One report found that as many as 46 percent of these cases could be solved if law enforcement had access to this information,” Paulsen said. “While this type of critical tax information can be accessed to solve other serious crimes, current law does not allow police officers to access federal tax records to help them find an abducted child. Without such a valuable tool, it could be very difficult for law enforcement to solve these cases when the suspect has left the area and has taken action to conceal their new location.”
Paulsen said that the Recovering Missing Children Act was a bipartisan solution that can make a difference in missing child abduction cases.
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