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August 7, 2014                                 Mary Beth Hutchins, (202) 400-4232

Cause of Action Submits Statement to House Oversight Committee
Demonstrating IRS’s Improper Use of Tax Code to Block Transparency

Washington, DC – Cause of Action (CoA), a government accountability organization, submitted a Statement for the record today to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) highlighting the Federal Government’s inconsistent and overbroad application of taxpayer confidentiality laws, therefore blocking transparency.  The Statement accompanies an OGR hearing on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) abuses and targeting of conservative and libertarian groups.

“It’s alarmingly clear that the IRS improperly interpreted the tax code in order to hamper government transparency,” said Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein.  “The IRS is picking and choosing when and how the law is convenient for its purposes, which is just wrong. Its actions are frustrating public access to records that may demonstrate wrongdoing by Federal officials. Therefore, Congress needs to start us down the path of meaningful reform by preventing agencies from continuing to use laws intended to protect taxpayers as a sword against political enemies and shield for political allies.”

Cause of Action’s Statement for the Record addresses a number of key issues:

  • The IRS chooses when and how to release records based on the agency’s level of interest in keeping the subject matter hidden from scrutiny.
  • The IRS at times misuses law that was intended to protect confidential taxpayer information as a shield to prevent access to records that could show wrongdoing by Federal officials.
  • The IRS, when confronted with its inconsistent use of the law, shockingly stated that the agency is not bound by the actions of its managers.
  • The IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration denied access to records about the unauthorized disclosure of taxpayer information to the White House, relying upon an overbroad interpretation of the law.

Read the Statement for the Record here.

About Cause of Action:

Cause of Action is a non-profit, nonpartisan government accountability organization that fights to protect economic opportunity when federal regulations, spending, and cronyism threaten it.  For more information, visit

To schedule an interview with Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein, contact Mary Beth Hutchins,