Lankford: IRS Lost Taxpayer Trust, Not Just Emails

Congressman James Lankford says the Internal Revenue Service has lost more than emails. He says it has lost the trust of taxpayers.

His comments came after a hearing into IRS operations. The hearing examined how the IRS can work better for the American taxpayers and examined potential IRS reforms to prevent future targeting of American taxpayers for their political beliefs.

“Details continue to surface about not only the supposedly politically ‘neutral’ IRS targeting groups seeking tax-exempt status based on their political beliefs, but also the lengths to which the agency has gone to prevent proper congressional oversight,“ said Lankford.

“The Oversight Committee today took the next step in our investigation to recommend solutions to ensure political targeting never happens again at the IRS. Specific recommendations include: lengthening the probation period for new federal employees, changing policies to prevent the IRS from asking irrelevant questions about free speech and protecting the right of organizations to shield their members and staff from IRS intrusion.

“The IRS has demonstrated it cannot securely and properly manage Americans’ personal information.  They ‘lost’ agency officials’ emails that could have assisted our investigation to hold agency wrongdoers accountable. The IRS also lost Americans’ trust to remain politically neutral and treat their tax information fairly and securely. Now, the Department of Justice refuses to appoint special counsel to investigate the potential corruption surrounding the IRS targeting.

“The recommendations in today’s hearing would help increase transparency, replace broken processes and remove the IRS from its role in implementing the unworkable Affordable Care Act. We will continue to seek accountability on behalf of American taxpayers and the groups specifically targeted by the IRS for their political views. We must ensure Americans’ freedoms are not infringed by highly placed individuals in federal agencies with a political agenda,” concluded Lankford.

To view the Oversight Committee’s staff report with suggested preventative solutions to ensure IRS political targeting never happens again, please click here.

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