The case that may break the IRS’s wall of silence

The case that may break the IRS’s wall of silence

The National Organization for Marriage’s lawsuit against the IRS may be the case that finally breaks the IRS’s “omerta” code.

In the spring of 2012, NOM’s private tax-return data turned up splashed on the Web site of its chief political opponent, the Human Rights Campaign. The leak plainly came from the IRS, because the tax return published on the site was stamped with special codes the IRS uses on electronically filed returns.

The leaked, confidential information included a list of NOM donors. Making their names virtually invited harassment of these people.

Incidentally, the chairman of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, happened to be a co-chair of President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Leaking private tax records is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. But the IRS has stonewalled NOM’s efforts to find out what happened, even going so far as to insist it legally can’t even say it’s investigating. The supposed reason? Because laws that prevent the disclosure of return information, it claims, also protect anyone who’d be the target of an investigation into breaking those laws, and even the mere fact that the IRS is investigating.

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