Paul L. Caron
Dean


Sunday, May 3, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 724

IRS Logo 2Robert W. Wood (Forbes), IRS $20 Million Response To Latest Pile of Lois Lerner Emails Is Worrisome:

Lois Lerner’s latest lost and found hoard of 6,400 newly discovered emails may end up not showing much. The IRS didn’t find them. A watchdog did. Maybe they will underscore the targeting and Ms. Lerner’s political chops honed at the Federal Election Commission. But at least the Treasury Inspector General found the 6,400 additional emails. A little more than 10% (650) are tied to 2010 and 2011. The rest date to 2012.

But the IRS statement in response to this latest revelation is, well, a little disturbing:

We welcome the Inspector General’s recovery of these Lois Lerner emails. This is an encouraging development that will help resolve remaining questions and dispel uncertainty surrounding the emails.

The IRS has been committed to cooperating fully with the investigations. We understand that, during the course of the past 10 months, the Inspector General found about 650 emails from the period affected by the hard-drive crash. It’s important to note that last summer, the IRS produced 24,000 emails from that period.

The IRS will continue to cooperate with the Inspector General and the congressional committees to complete work in this area, and we look forward to the results to determine what additional steps the IRS can take to ensure that we continue to improve our processes.

It’s important to note that the IRS has produced to Congress more than 1.3 million pages of documents related to the investigation, including more than 147,000 emails. Total estimated cost of just the IRS portion is at least $20 million.

The IRS has not exactly seamlessly cooperated, and Mr. Koskinen who runs the IRS has had a prickly relationship with investigators and with Congress. He has sometimes appeared to be annoyed that he is being asked any questions at all. Of course, the IRS said in 2014 (a little late?) that Ms. Lerner’s computer crashed in 2011.

Oops, no one’s fault that we lost a few years worth of emails. We kept being reminded how hard the IRS looked and how terribly expensive it was that the IRS had to do this. Yet the inspector general found about 35,000 emails from recycled back-up tapes. It then turned out that the key IRS IT people weren’t even asked to look at back up tapes. Isn’t this a little insulting? ...

A spokesman for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the committee hopes the new emails will bring the panel closer to releasing the findings of its IRS investigation. Wouldn’t some answers be nice?

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/05/the-irs-2.html

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink

Comments

These 6400 emails are part of the 35,000 that were previously found. It took 10 months, and an unspecified amount of money to recover them from backup tapes. We haven't been told where the backup tapes came from, who maintained them, or whether the IRS had access to them. But now they have been turned over to the Congress, so let's hear what's on them and what, if anything, they tell us about the "scandal."

Posted by: Publius Novus | May 3, 2015 8:05:49 AM

What is the budget of the IG of the IRS? Is it even $20 million? Yet he found these emails as a tiny percentage of his workload.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | May 4, 2015 8:30:52 AM

TIGTA's FY 2014 budget, as enacted, was $158,058,000. The FY 2015 request was $158,919,000.

Posted by: Publius Novus | May 5, 2015 8:05:11 AM