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Smith: Agency Watchdog Highlights Unacceptable Levels of Incompetence and Abuse at the IRS

September 13, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) blasted the Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday following a series of reports released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) this summer showing the IRS is failing to treat all taxpayers the same, to protect their private information, or to provide a basic level of service.

“The IRS continues to live down to expectations as the least trustworthy agency in our federal government,” said Chairman Smith. “The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s reports from this summer highlight a disturbing pattern of neglect, abuse, and downright incompetence at the agency charged with collecting trillions of dollars in federal tax revenue, and more importantly, protecting the private, sensitive information of millions of American taxpayers.

“While President Biden has been focused on funding an army of IRS agents to audit Americans and squeeze them out of more of their hard-earned money, we have learned that the IRS lost millions of taxpayers’ data and potentially destroyed over 30 million tax records. But according to TIGTA’s reports, that was just the tip of the iceberg. The Ways and Means Committee will continue to conduct rigorous oversight and demand accountability at this agency. The IRS must be held to a higher standard for the American people.”

IRS Watchdog Reports Show:

  • The IRS lost sensitive individual and business tax account information, including taxpayer names, social security numbers, employer identification numbers, and tax account and return information. REPORT
  • Sensitive taxpayer information has not been safeguarded properly when shipping to and from tax processing centers. REPORT
  •  An IRS cyber security program failed to adequately document risks to the IRS network including mitigating cyber threats and analyzing  their severity.. REPORT
  • The IRS mistakenly labeled tens of thousands of taxpayers as deceased, forcing Americans to prove they were still alive to receive their tax refunds. REPORT
  • Taxpayer Assistance Centers’ contact information is inconsistent and inaccurate, meaning taxpayers are being forced to jump through additional hoops just to get help from the IRS. REPORT
  • IRS tax enforcement officers have repeatedly violated Americans rights by improperly contacting taxpayers who have secure legal representation, the same arm of the IRS whose operations were drastically expanded by the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act.” REPORT

READ: Smith, Grassley Press for Answers After IRS Loses Loads of Taxpayer Data

READ: Smith, Schweikert Demand Key Document from IRS on Destruction of 30 Million Tax Records