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IRS Chief: Continued Silence on IRS Leak Investigation Threatens Taxpayer Trust

April 22, 2022

Nearly 10 months after private American taxpayer data was stolen and publicly released,  the Biden Administration still has offered the public no new information, including what exactly was stolen. It’s hard to investigate a crime when you don’t know what was stolen.

While IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig admitted in recent testimony before a House Oversight panel that the inability to provide answers for the leak, “impacts the ability of the public to have trust and respect for the Internal Revenue Service,” taxpayers have received little reassurance that their sensitive financial information is being kept safe – or that the IRS is any closer to concluding its investigation.


Key Takeaways:

  • The IRS Commissioner didn’t mention the massive theft of taxpayer information in his prepared testimony.Despite the sensitivity of the investigation into the theft, Rettig only addressed congressional concerns upon questioning.
  • Investigators still appear not to have requested a copy of the stolen information: As of September 13, both the Treasury and the IRS say that they don’t “know whether there has been a data breach or a threat of a data breach” and that they do not “have any information concerning the sources of the alleged taxpayer information published…”
  • The American people deserve answers: Rettig admitted his concern about “the delay in getting answers for the public.” The Biden Administration is no closer to holding those responsible for leaking confidential, personal tax information accountable.
  • Taxpayer privacy is paramount: Democrats are still seeking a supercharged IRS and surveillance scheme but are unable to get to the bottom of a criminal breach of sensitive taxpayer information.


Key Background:

  • After a briefing on June 14, 2021 from Commissioner Rettig, Rep. Brady renewed his call for an “…aggressive investigation of this astonishing breach of trust to protect Americans’ personal finances from prying, political eyes.”
  • On June 8, 2021, detailed income tax information was made public in order to advance Democrats’ efforts to supercharge the IRS and turn local banks into tax auditors.
  • On June 9, 2021, Rep. Brady and Sen. Crapo wrote to Commissioner Rettig demanding answers on the breach.
  • On September 22, 2021, Rep. Brady and Oversight Republican Leader Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) wrote a letter to Chairman Neal urging for a hearing to address the breach.
  • Ways and Means Republicans held a GOP meeting to examine Democrats’ proposal to reward the IRS with greater power over sensitive taxpayer data while the leak of private taxpayer information went unresolved.
  • In a recent letter to the Biden Administration on Tax Day, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Senate Finance Republican Leader Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) requested an update on the investigation. The requests have still gone unanswered.