On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing taxpayers, consumers, and free market advocates across the nation, we write to urge you to launch a formal congressional investigation into the release of private tax information by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This leak shows a glaring gap in data security when it comes to very sensitive information. Congress owes it to every taxpayer to ensure this can never happen to them.
The data leak, detailing years of tax returns from individuals like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, and Elon Musk showed no tax laws being broken. The tax code was followed legally, yet their personal and private information was leaked to the public. The merits of certain provisions of the tax code can – and should – be vigorously debated. However, releasing such information to the public is illegal and needs to be investigated.
Given the political tension surrounding these individuals and their influence on American society, there is little doubt this was a politically motivated maneuver. Sadly, this is not the first time a political vendetta has been weaponized within the IRS. This has shades of the Obama-era IRS scandal where conservative non-profits and individuals were targeted for heighted scrutiny and audits by the agency,.
The IRS has said they are investigating the matter internally and are asking external law enforcement to do the same. However, after repeated instances of politicization, it is past time for Congress to investigate the matter and root out any and all corruption. The committees of jurisdiction have a responsibility to launch such an investigation and call for hearings to get to the bottom of the matter.
This is a First Amendment issue. The American people need to be confident they will not be targeted by their own government for their political beliefs. Diversity of thought is a hallmark of the nation’s history and must remain protected from any and all threats – especially those from within the government.
As the nation comes out on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to ensure that our economy can thrive. Few things will stifle investment in our economy than the knowledge that private businesses may be subject to such harassment, even if they follow the law. If this is not taken seriously, American competitiveness abroad will suffer. Therefore, it is worth re-iterating that a congressional investigation is of the utmost importance. There needs to be a zero tolerance approach to such behavior. Should you like to discuss this proposal in depth, we are at your disposal.
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Institute for Liberty
Andrew F. Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Center for a Free Economy
Center for Individual Freedom
Americans for Tax Reform
Competitive Enterprise Institute