IRS claims no internal communications over controversial changes in Biden budget
April 20, 2022
(Washington, DC) – Earlier this year, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) sought records surrounding the proposal to dramatically increase IRS agents and resources amidst political targeting and the leaking of sensitive financial data. A particularly controversial proposal, since abandoned, sought to impose a reporting requirement on US banks for accounts involving more than $600 in a year. Today, FGI announced an alarming new development in our investigation: the IRS stated they had no such records involving the request for more resources, new agents, or any analysis that would justify the controversial policy items.
The response from the IRS is not only surprising but also highly unusual for a large government agency requesting an additional $80 billion in taxpayer resources. Their response raises concerns about whether the IRS is behind an effort to withhold public records that could expose damaging internal reactions and analysis underlying the agency’s actions. Other implications are that the agency was left out of the analysis and projections submitted by high-ranking political appointees, leaving the IRS to defend policies they had no part in constructing. Either way, this situation is not an example of a functional government.
The formal response by the IRS opens the door to a multitude of questions surrounding an already controversial policy. Which agency, if any, conducted the analysis justifying the controversial bank reporting requirement to $600? Who at the IRS discussed this policy with Treasury or the White House? Were records properly kept under the Federal Records Act? It is FGI’s mission to shine a spotlight on government dysfunction and we will continue to do just that. FGI is appealing this response and will keep the public updated.
Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:
“It is astonishing and frankly unbelievable to hear that the IRS claims to have zero records on a budget request and controversial policy proposal personally defended by the Treasury Secretary, one linked to a price tag of $80 billion and more intrusion into Americans’ private bank records. Given the congressional scrutiny and media attention on these proposals, one would think that the IRS conducted a thorough review before rolling it out. Based on their response, the IRS essentially just told us that they had no hand in the review or implementation of a policy that would affect hundreds of millions of Americans. This is exactly the type of government dysfunction Americans are fed up with.”