Inappropriate access to tax records with political connections Print
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 07:55
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is looking into inspector general findings that, in several instances, the confidential tax records of political donors or candidates have been  inappropriately accessed or disclosed since 2006.  The inappropriate access most likely occurred at the IRS but since the inspector general didn’t name the agency, another entity or entities, such as a state tax office, with access to federal tax records could be involved.  The inspector general is withholding details of the agencies involved and the names of the candidates and donors because of taxpayer confidentiality laws.  The inspector general found one case of access “willful” and sought Justice Department prosecution.  The Justice Department declined to prosecute.  Grassley is asking the Justice Department for an explanation of the decision not to prosecute.  Grassley comment:

“Any agency with access to tax records is required to act with neutrality and professionalism, not political bias.  The Justice Department should answer completely and not hide behind taxpayer confidentiality laws to avoid accountability for its decision not to prosecute a violation of taxpayer confidentiality laws.  With the IRS on the hot seat over targeting certain political groups, it’s particularly troubling to learn about ‘willful unauthorized access’ of tax records involving individuals who were candidates for office or political donors.  The public needs to know whether the decision not to prosecute these violations was politically motivated and whether the individuals responsible were held accountable in any other way.”

Grassley’s initial inquiry to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is available here.  TIGTA’s response is available here.  Grassley’s letter to the Justice Department is available here.