IRS Destroyed 30 Million Taxpayer Docs; Republicans Demand Explanation

Authored by Joseph Lord via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Republicans on two main congressional panels accountable for oversight are demanding solutions from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about its determination to destroy greater than 30 million taxpayer paperwork.

Committee chairman Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) arrives for a House Ways and Means Committee listening to on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 10, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In a letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) reiterated a previous request for a memorandum detailing the reasoning behind the 2021 determination (pdf).

That yr, the company destroyed greater than 30 million unprocessed paper-filed tax returns. Despite repeated makes an attempt by the Ways and Means Committee—the highest panel on oversight for the IRS—to study extra in regards to the determination, the Republican chairmen stated, the IRS has been uncooperative.

“We write to reiterate and renew the Committee’s multiple requests that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provide to the Committee on Ways and Means a copy of the decision memorandum detailing the recommendation to destroy 30 million unprocessed, paper-filed informational returns in March 2021,” they wrote, citing how they “repeatedly sought” to acquire the identical data from Doug O’Donnell, Mr. Werfel’s predecessor, however confronted stonewalling from the company and Mr. O’Donnell.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner nominee Daniel Werfel testifies earlier than the Senate Finance Committee throughout his nomination listening to in Washington on Feb. 15, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“The Biden Administration’s refusal to respond to the Committee, engage in a substantive discussion with staff about the request, and ultimately deny access to the decision memorandum obstructs Congress’s ability to conduct our important oversight responsibilities.”

The Republicans added, “The decision to destroy information returns diligently prepared by millions of American taxpayers demands congressional oversight.

They additionally stated it “raises the question of whether information reporting should be scaled back to reduce the burden placed on taxpayers in reporting information the IRS does not even use.”

The allegations got here to the committee’s consideration on May 4, 2022, over a yr after the incident, following the publication of a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) oversight report (pdf).

In the report, TIGTA revealed the destruction of the paperwork in March 2021, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for overwhelming the company’s skill to course of the returns.

At the onset of the pandemic, the report stated, the IRS closed its Tax Processing Centers at some point of March and April 2020. When the company returned, a “significant backlog of paper-filed individual and business tax returns that remain unprocessed” had constructed up.

At that time, administration on the IRS launched a memorandum ordering workers to destroy almost 30 million of those backlogged paperwork. The IRS cited system limitations that wouldn’t enable older paperwork to be processed of their feedback to TIGTA.

‘Significant Risk to the Agency’

Approximately two weeks later, on May 17, the Ways and Means Committee requested an evidence of the choice. Within 24 hours, that request was rejected with the reason that releasing additional particulars would impose a “significant risk to the agency.”

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