Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Congress Invades the IRS--For Now

This is too amazing, and too depressing, for words. Slipped, without notice, into the omnibus spending bill Congress is working on is a provisiont hat allows the Appropriations Committee chairs, or their designees, to have access to ANY tax return, and in a way that waives any penalties for how they use the information in the returns. It was apparently discovered almost by accident. (And the Republican leadership asserts that it got into the bill by "accident").

Here's the language of the provision:

"Hereinafter, notwithstanding any other provision of law governing the disclosure of income tax returns or return information, upon written request of the Chairman of the House or Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service shall allow agents designated by such Chairman access to Internal Revenue Service facilities and any tax returns or return information contained therein."

Here's the link to the AP piece:


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