“Republicans on two major congressional panels responsible for oversight are demanding answers from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about its decision to destroy more than 30 million taxpayer documents.

In a letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) reiterated a past request for a memorandum detailing the reasoning behind the 2021 decision (pdf).

That year, the agency destroyed more than 30 million unprocessed paper-filed tax returns. Despite repeated attempts by the Ways and Means Committee—the top panel on oversight for the IRS—to learn more about the decision, the Republican chairmen said, the IRS has been uncooperative…

At the onset of the pandemic, the report said, the IRS closed its Tax Processing Centers for the duration of March and April 2020. When the agency returned, a ‘significant backlog of paper-filed individual and business tax returns that remain unprocessed’ had built up.

At that point, management at the IRS released a memorandum ordering employees to destroy nearly 30 million of these backlogged documents. The IRS cited system limitations that wouldn’t allow older documents to be processed in their comments to TIGTA.”