The United States cannot trust the IRS after its internal investigation of tax return leaks has yet to yield any results ten months after it began. “The IRS can’t be trusted,” declared Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio in an interview.
In July 2021, Jordan and GOP California Rep. Darrell Issa wrote to the Treasury Inspector Gen. for Tax Admin. (also known as the TIGTA) and the the IRS wanting information on how some individuals’ records were leaked after ProPublica released private tax documents of some of the richest Americans. According to Jordan, his staff has not received any further updates on the case since an initial response.
“I’m not sure if the IRS is keeping track of it. It doesn’t appear to be the case from the response we received back from them,” Jordan said. “Americans should know that their tax returns are kept private. This is one of our system’s key features, and if this isn’t the case, if they are going to be targeted by the IRS such as Lois Lerner did some years ago and have their personal returns published, this simply can’t happen.”
When the IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig received Jordan and Issa’s letter of June 2021 asking for an explanation, he sent them to the Inspector General for Tax Admin. J. Russell George, according to answers provided by the DCNF. According to George, the GOP lawmakers’ request for TIGTA to brief Congress on the inquiry could only be made by either the Joint Committee on Taxation, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, or the Senate Finance Committee – all of whom are Democrats.
Rettig informed the lawmakers that TIGTA had “took the lead in the investigation” and “sole responsibility” for any IRS employee found to have publicly leaked private tax records. That was the last communication Jordan’s team received on the subject, according to a spokesman for Jordan’s office.
The IRS leaks seem to be “partisan” and coincided with Democratic demands for tax hikes, according to Jordan.
“Somehow, taxpayer returns became public just when the Democrats were discussing raising taxes on the wealthy,” Jordan said.
“This is the same IRS that targeted conservatives 12 years ago,” he continued.
According to a report from The Hill, Jordan said the leaks may be part of a larger trend in which the federal government is being “weaponized against” American citizens in order to advance a political cause.