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Johnson, Boustany Seek Answers on IRS Release of Social Security Numbers

July 23, 2013

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-LA) wrote to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Principal Deputy Commissioner Daniel Werfel regarding reports that the IRS accidently released thousands of Social Security numbers.

The letter directs the IRS to verify the accuracy of reports published by, which claim that more than 2,000 Social Security numbers included on 990-T forms were released on the IRS’s website.  These forms are filed by political non-profits filing under Section 527 of the tax code.  Documents received by the Committee pursuant to its investigation of IRS targeting show that IRS senior management knew that the release of sensitive taxpayer information was a risk.  

One document, referenced and attached to the letter, includes the transcript of a March 2013 speech delivered by Lois Lerner, then-Director of Exempt Organizations Unit, in which Lerner acknowledged that Social Security numbers are at risk of inadvertent release under current IRS practices.  In the letter, the Members noted that, “If true, these reports are especially concerning because the Committee’s investigation of IRS targeting of Tea Party groups revealed that the IRS knew about this risk, but did not safeguard against it.”

The letter can be read here.