U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today demanded answers from Acting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Daniel Werfel regarding the IRS' attempt to audit Veteran Service Organizations in Kansas and across the country. Sen. Moran asked that the IRS cease carrying out the audits until the mandate is reviewed in order to be certain the privacy of the nation's veterans is respected.
" Even after they return home from war, veterans in America continue to fight battles. Many struggle to find a job, face difficulties accessing quality health care services, or wait senselessly long periods of time for their benefits claims to be processed by the federal government," Sen. Moran said in a letter to the Acting IRS Commissioner. "The last thing veterans should have to worry about is their privacy within veteran service organizations, or the ability of those organizations to endure seemingly arbitrary IRS audits and the severe financial penalties that could ensue. This news is deeply concerning to me and the thousands of veterans I represent in Kansas."
Sen. Moran asked that the following questions to be specifically addressed by the agency:
- What legal authority does the IRS have in carrying out a mandate for personal, military service records? Was this mandate reviewed by IRS general counsel? Please provide documentation that gives the IRS the authority to collect this information;
- Under whose leadership was this mandate initiated, for what direct purpose, and who had approving authority for this mandate?;
- Were veteran service organizations ever specifically notified of the requirement? If so, please provide the documentation that was issued to these organizations. If not, please explain why organizations were not notified; and
- Is it true that an organization unable or unwilling to provide this information could be charged penalty fees of $1,000 per day? Please provide clarification regarding the penalty for noncompliance.