Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has released a report detailing the IRS’ relaxed hiring practices during the COVID pandemic.

The key finding: The IRS gave new hires access to sensitive information without even verifying their employment eligibility.

According to the report:

“IRS hired individuals to fill positions the majority of which would have had access to taxpayer data yet never verified whether those individuals were eligible for Federal employment in the United States.”

The report shows that these practices, in some cases, lasted well over a year:

“Of the new IRS employees hired during the COVID-19 pandemic, we found that approximately half have had their Form I-9 physical inspection of identity documents delayed, and in many cases, that delay extended past one year.”

Some employees were hired, given access to data, and then quit:

“TIGTA also identified 11 individuals who were hired, worked for the IRS between eight and 371 calendar days, and then separated from the IRS without ever having their identity documents physically inspected.”

TIGTA noted:

“Without in-person verification, the IRS could hire individuals who provide false identity information or are not eligible for Federal employment in the United States.”

The IRS has proven to be cavalier at best with the security of personal data. This just adds to the list of reasons this agency should not double in size as proposed by President Biden and congressional Democrats.

It has been 14 months since the revelation of a theft of thousands of private taxpayer files — described as “IRS files” by the progressive news outlet, Pro Publica. Despite promises to get to the bottom of this breach, the Biden administration and IRS have not provided any explanation to taxpayers.