A U.S. District judge in the state of Washington has ordered that the Internal Revenue Service is to turn over tax data to Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) researcher and co-director Susan Long. Long has been in and out of court with the IRS for decades.
TRAC uses data from the IRS (and other federal agencies) to produce reports about staffing, spending, and enforcement activities. All of the information used by TRAC is available through the Freedom of Information Act.
"Since 1996, TRAC has mounted and updated a series of specialized sites on the World Wide Web with highly detailed but easy-to-access information on selected federal enforcement agencies, special topical reports, and 'bulletins' about federal enforcement, staffing and expenditures. The sites - featuring colorful maps and graphs and tens of thousands of pages of tables and other supporting material - are available without charge to anyone with access to the web." (From the TRAC Web site)
In 2002, the IRS stopped providing TRAC with certain information, claiming that the reports TRAC wanted were no longer being produced. TRAC has been battling ever since, trying to reinstate its access to the IRS information. Two years ago the U.S. District Court ruled that the IRs must comply with TRAC's request for information. In addition, the judge in that case ordered the IRS to pay long $45,000 in legal fees.
And yet, the IRS did not comply with the order and has not yet provided Long and TRAC with the requested data. Now the Court has once again ruled that the IRS must comply with the order to turn over information within 30 days and to then continue providing the information TRAC requests on a monthly basis, the Seattle Times reports.