It’s not a good sign when a federal agency violates its own regulations. Yet the IRS has done it again. Violating tax law, the Internal Revenue Service sent an entire database of confidential taxpayer information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in October 2010.
Just a few weeks before midterm elections, and a few weeks before Lois Lerner met with officials from the Department of Justice to discuss prosecuting certain nonprofit groups, the IRS transmitted a significant amount of information on 501(c)(4) social welfare groups. Emails show Lerner asking Robert Pilger, director of the Justice Department’s Election Crimes branch, about the preferred format for the data to be sent to the FBI.
When first revealed, the data was said to be public and taken from the groups’ 990 forms. It turns out a lot of confidential taxpayer information was also included, information protected by federal law.
Here’s the conclusion drawn by the House Oversight Committee: