Many Americans worry about the prospect of the Internal Revenue Service hiring tens of thousands more officers to allow the agency to audit more tax returns and, in doing so, likely encourage a more thorough tax compliance.
Part of the concern stems from the mere prospect of the government granting itself more power — power that, in this case, could result in taxpayers being subjected to further federal intrusion.
Then there is the fact that many believe that the federal government does not serve the best interests of its constituents, but rather its own interests.
This idea gained traction when it was discovered that the IRS recently failed to protect confidential taxpayer data.
The Wall Street Journal recently revealed that the tax agency exposed confidential data of about 120,000 people before discovering the error and removing the data from its website.
According to the Journal report, the IRS and the Treasury Department blame human coding for the data breach.
The Journal report said non-public information such as names, contact details and financial information were mistakenly included in the public data, but Social Security numbers, full individual income information or other data that could affect a taxpayer’s credit were not.
What happened shouldn’t have happened. Congress, in the days and weeks ahead, must dig deeper into what happened and what is being done to ensure it does not happen again.