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Federal Tax

Ways and Means Chairman Plans Aggressive IRS Oversight, Implements Direct Online Committee Portal for Agency Whistleblowers

Jeff Carlson  

· 5 minute read

Jeff Carlson  

· 5 minute read

The House Ways and Means Committee has established an online form to assist IRS personnel who wish to submit information confidentially to the Committee regarding any inappropriate behavior or mishandling of taxpayer information at the agency.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, a Missouri Republican, on January 25 sent a letter to Acting IRS Commissioner Douglas O’Donnell and all IRS employees informing them of the creation of a direct line of communication between agency personnel and the Committee. Smith said such information can include concerns, information, or documents related to misconduct, maladministration, abuse, mistreatment of taxpayers, wrongdoing, or any other agency matter an employee believes deserves the Committee’s attention.

For example, the IRS has repeatedly exposed confidential taxpayer information which includes twice publishing the confidential information of over 100,000 taxpayers with individual retirement accounts. Smith has also expressed frustration about an unexplained leak last year of the tax returns of thousands of the country’s wealthiest people.

“The Committee on Ways and Means takes its oversight responsibilities seriously” Smith stated in the letter. “One of the Committee’s top priorities in the 118th Congress is to promote transparency and accountability by conducting rigorous oversight of government agencies to uncover instances of waste, fraud, and abuse within the executive branch.

Accordingly, the Committee announced on January 27 that Representative Mile Kelly, Republican of Pennsylvania, has been chosen to chair the House Ways and Means Committee’s powerful Tax Subcommittee, where he vowed to “closely examine the IRS.”

“Over the next two years, I plan to closely examine the IRS and to ensure it works as the service-driven agency it is intended to be,” Kelly said in a statement. “I will continue our fight to make sure taxpayer money is spent effectively and efficiently.”

All online submissions can be provided anonymously, and any confidential taxpayer information will be protected pursuant to Code Sec. 6103 of the Tax Code governing whistleblower disclosures of such information to the Committee under particular circumstances, according to a Committee release.

“We welcome and encourage IRS employees to use this portal to share any information they believe should be brought to the attention of the Committee as it conducts its oversight responsibilities,” the letter reads.


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