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Issa, Jordan Investigating IRS Unlawful Disclosure of Thousands of Tax Returns

July 27, 2021

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (OH-4) announced they are investigating the unlawful disclosure of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax returns of thousands of Americans published in a series of articles by ProPublica in June.
Issa said, “The IRS has been weaponized before to target political opponents and this latest leak of confidential tax records from the IRS is suggestive of the most troubling type of politically motivated misconduct - to target innocent people and advance extreme, partisan legislation.

“At a time when the Biden Administration is proposing to double the size of the IRS and hire 87,000 new agents, there is no time to wait. We must hold the IRS accountable now.”

The letter highlights, “On June 8, 2021, ProPublica began publishing a series of articles after “obtain[ing] a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years.”

Because tax returns are filled with personal and sensitive information, federal law requires that tax “[r]eturns and return information shall be confidential.” Congress has also made the unlawful disclosure of tax return information a felony. Despite these safeguards, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee or employees—or someone with access to the returns—disclosed this confidential information to ProPublica in violation of the law.”

The letter continued, “ProPublica also noted that the leak came at a time when “[t]he president [sic] and Congress are considering the most ambitious tax increases in decades on those with high incomes.” Leaks of tax information for political purposes harm the American people’s trust in the IRS and its ability to fairly administer federal tax laws.”

In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Issa and Jordan requested key document preservation and a briefing. 

In a second letter, the Members requested a briefing from Treasury Inspector General Russell George on the TIGTA investigation findings to date.