Idaho Congressman joins colleagues in sending letter to IRS Commissioner demanding answers
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson joined 42 Members of Congress requesting Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel answer a series of questions related to recent privacy breaches made by the Internal Revenue Service.
“Taxpayers must know the IRS is doing its job with integrity and fairness, both which have been in serious question in recent months,” said Simpson. “It is my hope that the agency will respond swiftly and in a manner that protects taxpayers from further privacy violations.”
The letter expressed serious concerns regarding reports that the IRS permitted up to 100,000 Social Security numbers to be openly posted on government websites accessible to the public.
Some of the questions the Congressmen want answers to are:
- Who and what department within the IRS is responsible for maintaining the Section 527 political organizations database?
- What is the procedure for documenting and publishing information in the database?
- Will the IRS be taking any actions to protect those individuals whose information was leaked?
A copy of the full letter can be found here.
This latest privacy breach is on the heels of the IRS improperly scrutinizing certain political organizations, particularly those with ‘tea party’ and ‘patriot’ in their names. Congressman Simpson cosponsored H.R. 1950, Taxpayer Nondiscrimination & Protection Act of 2013, which would help prevent further politically-motivated discrimination by increasing criminal penalties for such behavior. It would impose a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment of up to five years, or both. He also cosponsored H.R. 2009, the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013, which would prevent the IRS from implementing or enforcing Obamacare. The IRS is tasked with overseeing some of the most controversial portions of the bill, including the individual health insurance mandate tax.
“There is no excuse for the IRS practice of targeting any political organization or person, and Congress must act swiftly and decisively to ensure those who were responsible and had knowledge of the selective audits are held accountable and it does not happen again,” said Simpson. “Additionally, I will continue to investigate this recent report of a major leak of private citizen’s information, and demand answers from the IRS.”