"Protect taxpayers:" Sen. Johnson to introduce bill that would require identity theft victims be notified

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WITI) -- Taking aim at identity thieves: Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) plans to introduce a bill before Congress on Wednesday, May 13th that would require the IRS to notify you if your social security number has been compromised. The bill comes two years after FOX6 Investigators exposed a system that was protecting criminals instead of taxpayers.

Debi Guenterberg

"Our federal agencies have known for years that this was going on," Debi Guenterberg of Princeton, Wisconsin said.

Ever since identity thieves ruined her husband's credit, Guenterberg has been on a mission to change federal law. For years, the IRS knew a man was using her husband's social security number to file his taxes. The government never told Robert Guenterberg his identity had been stolen because tax records are private -- even the tax records of an identity thief.

"I can`t think of another crime. I can`t. I tried. I laid in bed last night, tossing and turning, thinking of any other criminal activity where you would get such privacy and protection. No, you don't," Debi Guenterberg said.

When FOX6 News first broke this story two years ago, Senator Johnson agreed to meet with the Guenterbergs.

Now, he's about to introduce a bill to make sure this doesn't happen again.

The Social Security Identity Defense Act of 2015 would require the IRS to notify individuals if the agency has reason to believe their social security number has been used to commit fraud. It would also require the IRS to notify law enforcement officials.

In a statement released Tuesday, Senator Johnson said: "The IRS should be using its resources to protect honest U.S. taxpayers, not criminals."

While similar bills have been largely supported by Republicans in the past, this bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia).

Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Wisconsin) is working on a companion bill that is expected to be introduced in the House in the next couple of weeks.