Top Republicans are demanding the FBI and Justice Department investigate the leak of confidential tax information of some of America’s wealthiest taxpayers. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sens. Chuck Grassley and Mike Crapo wrote in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray that whoever is responsible for the disclosure of private tax information should be prosecuted to the furthest extent the law will permit.
Fox News reports:
The report cited “an anonymous source who provided us with large amounts of information on the ultrawealthy, everything from the taxes they paid to the income they reported to the profits from their stock trades.” The outlet did not reveal its source and only indicated it received the information unsolicited “in raw form.”
“Paying one’s taxes is a civic duty, and that duty requires taxpayers to disclose to the IRS deeply personal financial information,” they wrote to Garland and Wray, including “where they work or what they do to earn their living, how much money they make, how much they spent on health care and child care, the size and contents of their retirement funds, the property they own, they charities to which they donated, and the persons to whom they are indebted.”
The Republicans noted that taxpayers have the right to the confidentiality of their tax information unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law. They also noted the suspicious timing of the leak and that though the report named only some of the country’s richest taxpayers the report has far-reaching implications for everyday Americans.
“The timing of the publication was almost too uncanny to be a coincidence,” they wrote, noting that “mere hours” after the report was made public, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to consider President Biden’s proposed 2022 budget for the IRS, which included “significant increases in funding for enforcement and proposals to reform the tax system.”
“The unpunished violation of section 6103 to advance a political agenda related to tax policy will beget continued invasion of Americans’ privacy to advance all manner of partisan objectives,” they wrote. “Ordinary Americans who turn over their personal information to the IRS because they will go to jail if they don’t, have every reason to fear that they may too become a victim to the political machinations of activists inside and outside of the IRS.”