Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) questions IRS Principal Deputy Commissioner Daniel Werfel at a Ways and Means Committee hearing on the misuse of power of the IRS and their refusal to be forthcoming with information requests from Congress. In the exchange, Roskam held up two nearly fully redacted documents provided to Committee that was an email exchange between two employees of the Cincinnati field office to illustrate the problem.
"But, you're familiar with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights of 1998, I assume, as a general document. It's a statute. And in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, it's very clear that the Internal Revenue Service is prohibited under the law from willful misuse of provisions of Section 6103 for the purpose of concealing information from an inquiry. You're familiar with that, aren't you?"
Instead of Giving Americans Straight Answers, IRS is Offering Bureaucratic Double Talk
"This is a Congressional inquiry, clearly, there has been a request by this committee of documents to be forthcoming by the Internal Revenue Service, and here's two of them and they have been redacted to the point of absurdity. Now we have knowledge that there's information in these two documents that's not subject to [Section] 6103 protection. So the entire [Section] 6103 question should be set aside, and what I'm suggesting is the fear that animates in the hearts of my constituents when they look at you is they say, "we're not getting a straight answer,' "we're seeing bureaucratic double talk,' "we're seeing a bunch of nonsense,' "how can we possibly pierce through this?'
Will the IRS Ever Stop this "Gratuitous Abuse of Power?'
"And so the level of anxiety and the concern that you hear from committee members is a recognition of an abuse of power, but it's been a gratuitous abuse of power. Now even when the investigation comes up, the committee, based on lawful requests, is now not getting the type of answers. So, can you assure us that this type of nonsense, where I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is information in these documents that should not be subject to 6103, that the IRS is claiming to an absurd, Kafkaesque level that somehow this needs to be protected? Can you assure us, based on your 30 days on the job, that this nonsense will stop?"