They want answers now.
Republican lawmakers are asking the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to explain why the agency destroyed 30 million paper-filed tax documents in the previous year. This inquiry has led to many questions and concerns being raised.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer, R-Ky., and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Ranking Member Nancy Mace, R-S.C., sent a letter inquiring about the case to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. In the letter sent on Tuesday, they noted how “troubled” they were over the findings of the recent audit of his agency by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), who is looking into “allegations of potential misconduct.”
The TIGTA report which was released a month ago stated that “because the IRS’s continued inability to process backlogs of paper-filed tax returns contributed to management’s decision to destroy an estimated 30 million paper-filed information return documents in March 2021.”
The documents included Forms W-2, 1099, and 1098, which are important for income verification by the IRS.
The IRS has maintained that “there were no negative taxpayer consequences as a result” of the document destruction because they were submitted to the agency by third parties, and that taxpayers “have not been and will not be subject to penalties resulting from this action.”
Still, Comer and Mace have said that with the destruction of documents, “the IRS will likely be missing many of the documents it requires to adequately screen for accuracy of returns, and may also end up lacking sufficient materials for tax audits.”
“Committee Republicans are concerned that the destruction of these documents might slow down already inefficient processing procedures and hurt American taxpayers left unaware that the IRS destroyed documents already entrusted into its care,” they said in the letter. “It appears that the IRS may now demand that taxpayers provide duplicate copies of information previously destroyed by the IRS.”