September 29,2023

Crapo Statement on DOJ Charging IRS Consultant with Disclosing Tax Return Information

Washington, D.C.--Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) issued the following statement after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it has charged an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) consultant with disclosing tax return information without authorization.

“Since ProPublica first reported it had received a ‘trove’ of stolen tax information in June 2021, my colleagues and I have been pushing for answers as to how private taxpayer information was so massively compromised. 

“Today, an IRS consultant was charged with disclosing tax return information without authorization.  Sensitive and protected individual tax data was stolen from the IRS by one of its contractors and provided to two as-yet undisclosed news organizations.  This individual has now been charged by the DOJ with serious tax crimes.  Investigators are still determining how extensive these leaks were, but clearly a significant number of Americans had their confidential data improperly released. 

“While many questions remain, at the very least, IRS guardrails failed to prevent this brazen breach of taxpayer rights.  It goes without saying that resolving these and other ongoing security issues at the IRS, as well as identifying and making whole the individuals impacted by this breach, must be the IRS’s highest priority.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report highlighting both new and longstanding unresolved security risks to the safety of confidential taxpayer information at the IRS.  In addition to the dozens of prior recommendations the IRS has thus-far failed to implement that could “significantly improve IRS’s ability to safeguard taxpayer information,” the GAO made new recommendations to the IRS, including to: establish agency-wide training completion goals for contractors; maintain comprehensive inventory of systems that store taxpayer information; and risk-assess its methods of data transferals to contractors.

Read More: