Tell the Senate
to Make the
Click Here to Sign the Petition Before It's Too Late.

Inspector General: IRS “at risk of breach by insider threats”

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Andrew Bemus on Friday, November 7th, 2014, 2:34 PM PERMALINK

A recent report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reveals that the IRS is incompetent in following even its own procedures. Occasionally, the IRS makes what is known as a Risk-Based Decision (RBD), meaning the agency violates its own policies in an attempt to complete a task deemed unfeasible under existing policy.  Though the IRS has set very strict guidelines for itself when making RBDs, the agency often ignores those guidelines and operates in a haphazard way, exposing itself to data breaches and leading to wasted taxpayer dollars: 

                "IRS systems and data are at risk of breach by insider threats and could potentially result in wasted resources through fraud or collusion with contractors and software vendors.”

When assessing an RBD, the IRS requires itself to electronically record the reasoning and the decision itself. However, when assessing this guideline, TIGTA determined that “the RBDs are neither supported nor adequately tracked in the spreadsheet cybersecurity function officials refer to as their library.” The risks that are identified in the spreadsheet aren’t supported with accurate documentation or cost estimates. The supposed “library” isn’t even a complete list of RBDs in the agency.

RBD mismanagement can have an effect on all levels of the agency. The report says, “Because the RBDs are not consistently documented, reviewed, or maintained centrally, IRS management lacks the ability to adequately manage information technology RBDs, which ultimately affects the IRS’s ability to manage enterprise risk.”

The effects of negligence could have dangerous effects:

                "Consequently, taxpayer data may not be secured and may be vulnerable to unauthorized disclosure, which can lead to identity theft."

Several recommendations, such as further documentation and training for officials, have been given to the IRS. Hopefully for taxpayers, the agency will take TIGTA’s criticisms to heart and stop using our tax dollars in such careless ways.

Photo Credit: 
Jeffery Scism

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments

Republicans Win the Maryland Governor's Race by Focusing on Taxes, Fees, and Regulations

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Damien Salamacha on Thursday, November 6th, 2014, 11:42 AM PERMALINK

Republican Larry Hogan's victory over Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, in the Maryland Governor race, was one of the most stunning political upsets this election cycle.  Maryland is a state in which Democrats hold a 2-to-1 advantage in voter registration, super-majorities in the state legislature, and all but one congressional seat. 

A large part of Hogan’s success came from drawing in the many Maryland voters who have grown tired of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s tax increases and out-of-control spending polices.  Gov. O’Malley currently has a 41 percent approval rating in Maryland, which is an eight-year low according to a recent poll.  While Gov. O’Malley was not on the ballot, his policies over the past eight years were through his Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. 

Hogan ran a disciplined race, focusing his campaign on taxes and the economy while also hammering home the negative impact that Gov. O’Malley’s policies have had over the past eight years.  It was no surprise that when Americans for Tax Reform previously compiled all of the state tax increases enacted under Democrat governors since 2011, Gov. O’Malley was the second biggest tax hiker, having raised taxes on Maryland residents by over 3 billion since 2011, and more than 11 billion since 2008.  The only governor to have raised more taxes was Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois, another deep-blue state, who lost his re-election race to Republican Bruce Rauner.   

Delivering a strong message focused on lower taxes and increased economic freedom seems to have resonated with voters – even in traditionally blue states – during the 2014 election cycle.  Low-tax, limited-government Republicans defeated entrenched liberal Democrats in traditionally blue states like Massachusetts, Maine, and Illinois. Meanwhile Republican governors Sam Brownback of Kansas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin won re-election in their respective states after engaging in tax reform during their first terms.  November 4 was a good night for Maryland taxpayers as well as taxpayers across the country. 

Photo Credit: 
Maryland GovPics

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments

Taxpayers Sweep Top Five Ballot Measures

Posted by Will Upton, John Kartch on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, 3:34 AM PERMALINK

On Tuesday, taxpayers overwhelmingly prevailed in each of the top five binding tax related ballot measures:
53% – 47% in Massachusetts – Question 1: In deep blue Massachusetts, voters repealed a law that indexed the state gas tax to inflation – eliminating a vote-less backdoor tax hike on taxpayers. 
80%  20% in Wisconsin – Question 1: From now on, the state gas tax must only be used to fund Wisconsin’s transportation system. Over the past 10 years, Wisconsin’s legislature has raided the state’s transportation fund to the tune of $1.4 billion. 
80% – 20% in Nevada – Question 3: In Harry Reid’s home state, voters defeated a proposed two percent "margin tax" on businesses. The revenue from the new tax was to be granted to the state’s public school districts. 

66% – 34% in Tennessee – Amendment 3: Voters enshrined in the state constitution a prohibition on state and local income taxes. 

74% – 26% in Georgia – Amendment A: Voters enshrined in the state constitution a cap on the state income tax at the effective rate on January 1, 2015. Therefore the state legislature is now constitutionally prohibited from increasing the state income tax rate any higher.

Not only did voters directly reject tax increases, they rejected gubernatorial candidates who championed higher taxes — even in deep blue states such as Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


And here is another tax voters don't want-- OPEN BORDERS! Did you know Norquist that surges of poverty from Central America that you support with your endless zeal for amnesty cost US taxpayers billions? You didn't win on Tuesday, American citizens who oppose guys like you did.

Brownback Win A Victory for Kansas Taxpayers

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Will Upton on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014, 11:39 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform would like to applaud the victory of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback over Democrat challenger Paul Davis. Gov. Brownback’s win is a boon to Kansas taxpayers who will continue to see more money in their wallets and better job growth in the state.

Called one of the most important races in the country, the Kansas governor’s race became the epicenter of the low-tax fight. The Democrat Party and their spending-interest allies ran a misleading smear campaign against the governor and his efforts to reform the Kansas tax code to the state more competitive with its neighbors.

“Tonight the voters of Kansas returned a champion of the taxpayer to the Kansas governor’s office. Gov. Sam Brownback ignited the Mid-West tax rebellion and began and led the great 50 state race to a zero-percent income tax,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “With Gov. Brownback’s re-election, other governors have seen that the Kansas model is both politically practical and exportable. By 2050, all 50 states should be able reduce their state income taxes to zero.”

Photo Credit: 

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments

List of State Signers of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in West Virginia

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2014, 6:29 PM PERMALINK

Ahead of Tuesday's elections, Americans for Tax Reform is proud to release a new list of candidates, both challengers and incumbents, who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to voters in West Virginia. The candidates on this list have made a personal written commitment to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes on West Virginians. 

ATR urges taxpayers to consider the individuals who have made this commitment to protect small businesses and families from higher net taxes in West Virginia as they head to the polls on Tuesday.  

State Senate Challengers

  • Vicki Dunn-Marshall (S-5)
  • Gary Johngrass (S-7)
  • Robert Karnes (S-11)
  • Michael L. Queen (S-12)
  • Doug Skaff (S-17)


State Senate Incumbents

  • Craig Blair (S-15)
  • Clark Barnes (S-11)

House of Delegates Challengers

  • Saira Blair (H-59)
  • Sue Cline (H-25)
  • Michael Ihle (H-13)
  • Patrick Lucas (H-16)
  • Philip Mallow (H-50)
  • Steve Marcum (H-19)
  • Ralph Rodighiero (H-24)
  • Patricia Rucker (H-67)
  • Vaughn T. Sizemore (H-36)
  • Christopher A. Stansbury (H-35)
  • Jill Upson (H-65)
  • Adam Yoest (H-14)


House of Delegates Incumbents

  • George Ambler (H-42)
  • Tim Armstead (H-40)
  • Karen Arvon (H-31)
  • Ray Canterbury (H-42)
  • Roy Cooper (H-28)
  • Paul Espinosa (H-66)
  • Larry W. Faircloth (H-60)
  • Michael Folk (H-63)
  • Cindy Frich (H-51)
  • Marty Gearheart (H-27)
  • Danny Hamrick (H-48)
  • Eric Householder (H-64)
  • Gary Howell (H-56)
  • Larry D. Kump (H-59)
  • Joshua A. Nelson (H-23)
  • John D. O’Neal IV (H-28)
  • John Overington (H-62)
  • Rupert Phillips (H-24)
  • Ruth Rowan (H-57)
  • John Shott (H-27)
  • Doug Skaff (H-35)
  • Kelli Sobonya (H-18)
  • Linda Sumner (H-30)
  • Ronald N. Walters (H-39)


Click here to find out where to vote in West Virginia. 

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments

UPDATE: Bill Walker Campaign Disputes Authorship of Pro-Income Tax Letter

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Will Upton on Monday, November 3rd, 2014, 3:15 PM PERMALINK

Alaska gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker’s campaign has disputed the authorship of a 2004 letter to the editor calling for a state income tax in Alaska. A man claiming to be another Bill Walker (identified by the Walker for Governor campaign as William C. Walker) has come forward on a Blogspot blog with the username “Mo ‘Poxy”, taking credit for the 2004 letter – though the user’s identity is unclear.

Ultimately it is up to the voters of Alaska to decide if candidate Bill Walker actually wrote the letter to the editor. They should be reminded, though, that Bill Walker, unlike Sean Parnell, has not ruled out higher taxes by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

You can read the original post with the full letter to the editor here.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments

Grover Norquist Discusses North Carolina Senatorial Candidates

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Zoe Crain on Monday, November 3rd, 2014, 12:17 PM PERMALINK

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post regarding North Carolina Senatorial candidate Sean Haugh.

Haugh is open to higher taxes. Not only did Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee, pass one of the most pro-growth tax relief packages ever to come out of any state, he has committed to oppose efforts to raise federal taxes if elected to the U.S. Senate. Haugh, in contrast, refuses to make such a commitment to North Carolina taxpayers.

Americans for Tax Reform’s director of state affairs, Patrick Gleason, was quoted in a Slate article written by Betsy Woodruff about the importance of reelection Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Patrick Gleason, the director of state affairs at Americans for Tax Reform, said a Walker loss “will scare a lot of governors across the country.”

“That will send a message: Don’t do this, because you very well might not survive,” he said. “If Walker prevails, it’s going to embolden a lot of governors and lawmakers across the country. You’re going to see a lot of governors and lawmakers in other states get spines- or get stronger spines- than they had prior to Walker’s reelection.”

Photo Credit: 

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments

Grover Norquist Discusses Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (and more...)

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Zoe Crain on Thursday, October 30th, 2014, 12:54 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist was quoted in a Bloomberg Politics article written by David Weigel about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

“If Walker lost, four or five states would do maybe half of what Wisconsin’s done,” says Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist.

“There’d be some nibbling at the edges, and some postmortems on how he defunded the left. If he wins, twelve to fifteen states would   copy Wisconsin. I mean, who wouldn’t? If the combined forces of the AFL-CIO and all their allies can’t beat him, why not do teacher tenure reform, why not make union membership voluntary, why not phase out the income tax? You get twelve states to do what Wisconsin did, and the Democratic Party would have to find several billionaires to make up the lost revenue.”

Townhall’s Cal Thomas wrote an article about former Gov. Jeb Bush’s comment that he would be willing to raise taxes, and its implications should he decide to run for president in 2016.

Norquist and other anti-tax advocates perhaps see in Bush’s comment a replay of his father’s pledge at the 1988 Republican National Convention: “Read my lips: no new taxes.” He violated that pledge when congressional Democrats promised to cut spending in exchange for tax increases. Bush raised taxes. Democrats did not cut spending. Many have long believed that broken promise contributed to his failure to win a second term.

Steve Byas of the New American wrote about the possibility of former Gov. Jeb Bush running for president, and the reaction of Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist.

“Jeb stabbed Republicans in the back just when they were unified in insisting on major spending cuts with no tax increases,” Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform told the Washington Times.

Norquist was referencing Bush’s comments that he could accept a budget deal in which taxes were raised by $1 for every $10 in spending cuts that the Democrats would agree to. Norquist was enraged, particularly because the Democrats had not even offered any such deal. 

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments

Alaska Governor Candidate Bill Walker Backed Creating State Income Tax

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Will Upton on Thursday, October 30th, 2014, 12:30 PM PERMALINK

What does Alaska gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker really believe? On October 11, He told the Alaska Dispatch News: “I have no intention to implement a statewide tax or paying for state government by reducing Permanent Fund dividend checks.  If we properly develop out natural resources and put in place a sustainable budget that should not be necessary.”

Yet, he is the same Bill Walker who wrote: “We must establish a state income tax.  With a tax, the people will pay closer attention as the state painfully spends our hard earned tax dollars.  Our legislators will be frugal knowing that they are spending their constituents’ tax dollars.  Our legislators will be frugal knowing that their constituents are paying attention.”

Alaskans should ask Walker, who has NOT signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge – a promise from elected officials to their constituents not to raise taxes – what he really believes. Given his shifting stance on a state income tax, it seems like Walker embodies the worst aspects of Washington, D.C.-style politics.

Photo Credit: 
Walt Jabsco

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments

David Shurtleff

Different Bill Walker--wasn't the candidate. I called them to ask. There are 13 different William Walkers listed as living in Alaska.

Payuk Deloria

Wait, what? Why has the Alaska media not reported on this? It explains why the Democrats and Alice Rogoff created this ticket and why public employee unions are backing it. Bigger government, more taxes, skimming off the top of Alaskans' way of life.


Not the same Bill Walker!

Grover Norquist Appears on Bloomberg TV's "Street Smart"

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Zoe Crain on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 5:26 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist appeared on Bloomberg TV’s “Street Smart,” hosted by Matt Miller, where he discussed Americans renouncing their U.S. citizenships in response to a harsh new tax law. An excerpt of his comments is below:

Two things happened. One is we have the worldwide tax system, so that when an American works overseas, they pay over there and here. Second, we have higher rates than everybody else, on the corporate level, and even sometimes on the individual level. So, it wasn’t quite so bad when we had lower corporate taxes and lower personal taxes- 28%, under Reagan- but now it’s become a bigger problem. 

Photo Credit: 
Gage Skidmore

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments