Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

On February 16th, Representative Jason Smith (R-MO), the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, wrote a letter to the Inspector General for Tax Administration expressing deep concern over revelations by ProPublica that the IRS had a massive leak of confidential tax information 19 months earlier.

As the letter detailed that ProPublica “published a significant amount of legally protected taxpayer information” and had great stores of information on “thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people” going back to “more than 15 years.” In the letter, Smith expressed that this leak was “egregious” and “unprecedented” and wrote that there should be an investigation into how this happened and that the investigators to keep him updated on the status of their investigations.

The major problem for Representative Smith was that the public still was unaware of how this happened. Smith tweeted, “19 months ago, ProPublica announced it had obtained confidential IRS data of taxpayers to advance Democrats’ tax hike agenda. 19 months later, the American people are still in the dark about what happened. Taxpayers deserve answers.”


As Just the News  speculates the motive behind the leaks could have been political “since it was used to prove, as ProPublica put it, that ‘the very richest pay lower rates than the merely rich.’” While the letter notes that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had promised answers to the leaks back in June of 2021, the matter has remained largely elusive.

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This IRS scandal comes amid a myriad of other IRS-related scandals. As Center Square notes “Experts and lawmakers have also continued to push for answers after a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report from 2021 showed that the IRS destroyed roughly 30 million taxpayer documents, raising eyebrows. So far, the agency has given little explanation for the destroyed files, which Americans may need for future audits.”


A recent scandal includes the IRS’s politicized handling of a conservative election reform organization’s application for tax-exempt status. As covered by DC Enquirer, “The election nonprofit group Adams, Baldwin, and Covey Foundation, Inc. (ABC) claims that they were subject to and forced to reply to improper questions by the IRS in response to their application for tax-exempt status. Phill Kline, a founder of the ABC organization and a former Republican attorney general of Kansas, declared that the questions were ‘further evidence that the Biden administration believes it has the authority to license thought and speech, and it doesn’t.’”

As was noted in the same article in the DC Enquirer, “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has long been plagued by scandals concerning how it has weaponized the tax process against political dissents. As one researcher of the IRS’s history put it, ‘In almost every administration since the IRS’s inception the information and power of the tax agency have been mobilized for explicitly political purposes.’”

Put simply this scandal is yet another demonstration of that description of the IRS as a governmental institution with less than a sterling history of non-partisanship.