The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has agreed to hand over thousands of documents that could show the IRS disclosed confidential taxpayer data to the White House.
The documents were collected by TIGTA, which began an investigation into whether the IRS was improperly giving information to the White House.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration examined whether the IRS leaked confidential taxpayer data to the White House, but never released a report. Soon, TIGTA will hand over thousands of the documents it collected to the group Cause of Action. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
TIGTA's work started after Austan Goolsbee, the former chair of the White House's Counsel of Economic Advisers, implied that Koch Industries doesn't pay any corporate income tax. That raised questions about how Goolsbee would have that information, and prompted TIGTA to examine communications between the IRS and the White House.
But TIGTA never released a report, and that prompted the group Cause of Action to file a Freedom of Information Act request to see the result of its work. TIGTA refused to even confirm its investigation, but in September, a judge said TIGTA officials had to comply with the request from Cause of Action.
Cause of Action said Tuesday that it expects to receive up to 2,500 separate documents that could show improper links between the White House and the IRS, and that it expects to receive those documents by mid-December.
"This disclosure, coming only after Cause of Action sued TIGTA over its refusal to acknowledge whether such investigations took place, and after the Court ordered TIGTA to reveal whether or not documents existed, signals that the White House may have made significant efforts to obtain taxpayers' personal information," the group said.
"This disclosure, following on the heels of TIGTA's admission that it recovered 30,000 'lost' Lois Lerner emails, renews Cause of Action's concerns about the decaying professionalism of, and apparent slip into partisanship by, IRS's senior leadership," the group added.
Late last week, TIGTA said it had found up to 30,000 emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner that the IRS had said were lost.