This photo taken Aug. 19, 2015 shows the The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Building in Washington. No checks, please. If you owe the federal government more than $100 million in taxes, your check is no good at the IRS. Citing technology constraints, the IRS says it will no longer accept checks for more than $100 million.

Andrew Harnik | AP Photo

  • Font Size
  • A
  • A
  • A
Print Images Print

The Cause of Action Institute (CoA) filed a legal complaint against the Internal Revenue Service for illegally destroying records Tuesday, at the same time that IRS commissioner John Koskinen approaches an impeachment trial before Congress.

In the complaint, CoA alleges that the IRS and Koskinen refused to “capture and preserve” employees’ electronic communication dealing with official business, as the law requires.

Here’s a piece of the press release from CoA’s website:

“The IRS and Commissioner Koskinen have a legal obligation to preserve official work communications between employees. It appears that federal records are being deleted because the IRS, in a deal with its employee union, refuses to preserve certain types of electronic communications. This lawsuit seeks to ensure that IRS follows the law. No agreement with a union or any other party can supersede Americans right to know how the IRS makes decisions.”

Documents obtained by CoA Institute show that the IRS has a private agreement with its employee union stipulating that the agency will not save the instant message records of its employees. But the IRS cannot allow such an agreement to supersede its statutory obligations to preserve records.  In addition, the IRS is violating the law by regularly deleting all employee text messages as a matter of convenience.

The IRS’s obligation to capture and preserve relevant records is drawn from the Federal Records Act (FRA). The complaint filed by CoA is intended to establish a court order requiring the IRS to create and implement guidelines for acquiring and keeping such information.

As reported by the Washington Post, commissioner Koskinen could become the first agency leader to be removed from office since 1876 when War Secretary William Belknap was facing corruption charges. The House Judiciary Committee is set to hold impeachment hearings next week.

Phil Shiver is a writer for the CR Wire. His interests are Christian Ministry, Common Sense Politics, and anything active. Follow him on Twitter @kpshiver3.