October 6, 2010
TIGTA to Investigate White House Disclosure of Confidential Taxpayer Data of Political Opponent
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration announced yesterday that it would investigate whether Obama Administration officials illegally accessed and disclosed confidential taxpayer information involving Koch Industries, a prominent critic of the Obama Adminstration.
- Bloomberg, White House Adviser Goolsbee's Comment on Koch Taxes Reviewed by Treasury
- The Hill, Republican Lawmakers Request Investigation
- Washington Times, Obama Use of Foe's Tax Records Reviewed
- Web CPA, TIGTA Agrees to Probe Possible Breach of Taxpayer Info by Obama Administration
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage
- Barack Milhous Obama -- Did White House Reveal Confidential Tax Information About Political Enemy? (Sept. 21, 2010)
- GOP Senators Seek TIGTA Probe of White House Access to, and Disclosure of, Confidential Taxpayer Data (Sept. 27, 2010)
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Why don't they just skip the investigation? It's sorta like we know they did, else how could they say what they said?
Punishment phase in .... oh, I forgot, they're Democrats. Just children playing, no harm no foul, right?
Posted by: Bill Johnson | Oct 6, 2010 8:48:04 AM
Shades of Nixon's "enemies list."
Posted by: Ed D | Oct 6, 2010 9:44:40 AM
The symbol of the key on the Inspector General's crest (above) should signify security. At least that is what a key normally means on a unit crest. The balance symbolizes justice. We'll see whether the new crest should be changed to show Obama's hand on one or the other or both.
Posted by: Diggs | Oct 6, 2010 9:56:16 AM
From the TIGTA webpage:
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was established under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 to provide independent oversight of IRS activities. TIGTA promotes the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of the internal revenue laws. It is also committed to the prevention and detection of fraud, waste, and abuse within the IRS and related entities.
Nevertheless, TIGTA has ignored IRS instructions that result in the exclusion from alternative minimum taxable income of tax refunds from tax overpayments claimed on Schedule A in years when the regular tax was paid. This exclusion violates section 56(b(1)(D) of the Internal Revenue Code and currently results in a loss to the Treasury of approximately one billion dollars per year.
Of course, TIGTA has allowed this loss to be offset by IRS illegally including itemized deductions in the phase-out of deductions, exemptions, exclusions, eligibilities, and credits in violation of section 111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code
Posted by: WD Kebschull | Oct 6, 2010 1:11:59 PM
You folks aren't biased are you? Actually, I don't know if any Obama Administration officials violated section 6103 by their statements. The sub-S status of Koch industries is well and widely known, and is sourced in published court opinions. If that is the source of the White House statement, then there was no section 6103 violation (execept, perhaps, in the Fifth and Eighth Circuits).
What is certain, however, is that by announcing a probe of the White House for possible Title 26 violations, TIGTA clearly violated section 6103.
Posted by: Publius Novus | Oct 6, 2010 1:15:05 PM
Obama's type government can ruin you with tax audits or kill you with withheld health care and now he's working on the 4th Amendment abridgment so that he can access everything you say or write by computer so to better make a decision whether it will be jail or death. We were warned about 'governments' like this, its the reason the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written, its also the reason the Supreme Court has been packed by socialists who don't believe in the Constitution. We really need an 2/3rds Amendment so that the States can roll back any thing the government passes that is illiberal and dangerous to the People, we need it now.
Posted by: Ron Nord | Oct 6, 2010 1:33:30 PM
Why exactly would any private for-profit entity today be anything other than a pass-through entity? Sub-S, LLC, partnership, take your pick. It would be extremely surprising to find profitable private businesses as C-Corporations at any significant level. Sure, they may hold some C's to offset gains in affiliated C-Corps, but the top structure would be pass-through.
I think this is a kind of frivolous political gotcha moment rather than a serious concern.
If anyone thought the Koch's interests were other than pass-through entities, they must have been pretty naive.
Posted by: Dan D | Oct 6, 2010 2:14:29 PM
Unless there's a lot more to this story, I don't see a significant violation. I guess the purpose of the investigation is to make sure there's nothing more.
Posted by: AMTbuff | Oct 6, 2010 2:42:21 PM
Just one more nail in the coffin of impeachment.
Posted by: warlord | Oct 6, 2010 5:26:24 PM