FGI continues to investigate IRS, Treasury for apparent misconduct
April 18, 2022
(Washington, DC) – Today is Tax Day, and many Americans find themselves scrambling to provide the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) all types of information about their sensitive financial affairs, with the expectation that the IRS will keep this information private. Recent experience has shown, however, that whether this information will someday be illegally shared with outside activists or used to obstruct the constitutional rights of Americans to freely associate remains an open question. These concerns remain prevalent as the lack of accountability or availability of public records concerning these abuses continues. This is why over the past several months the Functional Government Initiative has opened multiple investigations into major scandals that have plagued the IRS in recent years. The agency has grown to become one of the most powerful and mysterious actors in the federal government but has proven to provide little transparency into its own activities and little privacy with Americans’ personal information.
Among the investigations, FGI is seeking agency records around the unauthorized leak of sensitive financial information of wealthy American citizens to ProPublica. Even last Wednesday we were reminded of the lasting impact of this unlawful leak when ProPublica published an article with an accompanying database containing the leaked information. Since the leak was discovered last year, the IRS has not made any headway into discovering the source of the leak nor revealed any effort to hold bad actors accountable.
Another FGI inquiry concerns the economic analysis, key players, and supporting materials related to the proposal to increase IRS resources for enforcement personnel and impose a now-discarded $600 threshold allowing the IRS to peer into hundreds of millions of Americans’ bank accounts. This unprecedented power grab and request for more resources has only heightened the public’s scrutiny of the IRS.
Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:
“Tax Day may not be a fun day, and it certainly isn’t a cheap day, but it shouldn’t be a scary day. Yet with leaks of sensitive data, targeting of organizations based on their politics, and an unprecedented power grab for more authority and IRS agents, this Tax Day should remind every American of the need for accountability at the IRS. And, as with most aspects of government, accountability begins with transparency, which we are still waiting to obtain through our many requests into the agency. Stay tuned as we demand the records the American people are entitled to.”