Grassley says money spent on IRS upgrades hasn’t paid off

NEW HARTFORD —- Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is calling for an investigation of the Internal Revenue Service after a watchdog report found the agency lost the backup data from millions of taxpayers’ returns.

Grassley says a fortune has been spent to upgrade IRS technology in recent years, money which he says evidently wasn’t a good investment. “I’m telling you, when you talk to the IRS about their computer system, they use internet and tech language that hasn’t been used in the last 30 years,” Grassley says, “and that’s how old it is.”

Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, says IRS bungling has led to pallets full of tax records either going missing or being left in insecure locations. In one case, the agency sent dozens of cartridges containing some 200,000 photos of tax records to an outside contractor for reformatting. That contractor went out of business in 2018 and the records vanished.

“I don’t know how much money we spent to upgrade the computer system in the IRS, but they’re incompetent to get it done in the right way,” Grassley says, “even considering the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on that effort.” The American people deserve better, Grassley says, and they deserve an IRS that prioritizes protecting their confidential information.

“It could be violation of Section 6103 that’s supposed to protect the privacy of your tax form not being made public,” Grassley says, “and so you’ve got your privacy could be violated because of these mishaps.” Grassley says the information contained in the lost records can be used by “nefarious actors” to commit tax fraud and identity theft. He says there must be accountability to prevent this type of misconduct from happening again.