(Official Washington Examiner editorial, Oct. 8) If ordinary taxpayers fail to file returns, congressional Democrats hire 87,000 new IRS agents to punish them. Yet if the IRS destroys 30 million “tax information” returns without even processing, those Democrats actively block attempts to demand an explanation.

Apparently, Democrats think transparency is unnecessary for tax collectors for the welfare state.

For those who missed the original story, some background is in order, especially to understand how astonishingly brazen the Democrats are in refusing to hold the IRS accountable. On May 22, the treasury inspector general for tax administration reported that the IRS deliberately destroyed 30 million returns in 2021 so as to relieve a backlog of paper documents in anticipation of a flood of new filings. The agency cited software limitations as an excuse.

The decision was met with widespread incredulity. “How can the agency ask taxpayers to meet their filing obligations for information returns when it cavalierly destroys duly filed documents?” asked Nina Olson, former national taxpayer advocate. Brian Streig, a certified public accountant for Calhoun, Thomson + Matza, LLP, added that “small businesses stress out every year in January trying to accurately prepare these informational returns and get them filed on time. To see the IRS just destroy these is almost like the IRS admitting they don’t really care.”

House Democrats, too, seem not to care. Before the inspector general blew the whistle, the IRS repeatedly failed to disclose to Congress or the public that it had destroyed the documents despite numerous questions from Republicans about how the agency was handling a rumored backlog. Then, after the inspector general report, House and Senate Republicans repeatedly asked the IRS for the “decision memorandum” it used to justify the destruction. The IRS refused, saying the document’s release would somehow cause a “significant risk to the agency.”

The excuse was risible considering that the Republicans’ requests specifically said the IRS could redact any “sensitive” information from the memorandum…. But the Democrats blocked the inquiry….. [The full column is at this link.]



Tags: , , ,