That's a Feature, Not a Bug


Another day, another IRS scandal:

Identity thieves may be defrauding the Internal Revenue Service by much more than the nearly $6 billion the federal tax agency claims to have lost through holes in its security policy in 2013.

That’s because the IRS presented an unreliable estimate of how much it had lost to identity fraud — a rationale based on calculations with no supporting documentation — as a precise measure of its losses, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.

The tools the IRS uses to prevent identity fraud from happening in the first place are also full of holes, the watchdog found. For example, the agency requires filers to use a personal identification number to file their taxes online.

But the accountability office discovered “identity thieves can easily find the information needed” to gain someone else’s number by searching public records, “allowing them to bypass some, if not all, of IRS’s current automatic checks.”


But your medical records the IRS now holds? Totally secure, bro.

Auditing the Fed sounds nice, but might be practically impossible — do we really wants 535 members of Congress “helping” to determine monetary policy. But how about auditing the IRS?


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