Aug 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

IRS reviewing security measures after threats

Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service is launching a comprehensive review of its safety and security measures, the agency said Tuesday.

Driving the news: The review comes after an "abundance of misinformation and false social media postings," with threats directed at the IRS and its employees, Commissioner Charles Rettig wrote in a memo to employees.

  • Congressional Republicans and far-right extremists are speaking out against the IRS as it is set to receive $80 billion in new funding over a decade as part of President Biden’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act, the Washington Post reported.

What he's saying: "For me this is personal," Rettig said in the letter obtained by Axios. "I’ll continue to make every effort to dispel any lingering misperceptions about our work."

  • "If you see something, say something," employees were told in the memo.

Details: The review will include conducting a risk assessment "based on data-driven decisions given the current environment" and monitoring perimeter security at the agency's 600 facilities nationwide.

  • The IRS will also monitor threat intelligence and work closely with the Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement.

Background: The $80 billion in funding the IRS will receive is meant to go to clearing a backlog of unprocessed tax returns, improving taxpayer services, replacing outdated technology and hiring thousands of new staffers, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the agency.

  • The operational plan for the budget will be crucial to "ensuring the public and Congress are able to hold the agency accountable as it pursues needed improvements," she said.

For the record: This is the agency's first such review since the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, which killed 168 people, according to the Post.

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