Matt Taibbi of Twitter Files fame went on the platform to disclose that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) opened an examination of his 2018 tax returns on Christmas Eve of last year, which the writer said “just happened to coincide with a major Twitter Files report on intelligence community ties to tech platforms.”
Taibbi tweeted a letter by House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, informing the agency of its investigation on the IRS’s visit to Taibbi’s home on the same day the latter “testified before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.”
The House Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that it acquired that information and other details about the case from the IRS in response to the controversy over a tax agent visiting Taibbi’s home on March 9, 2022 — the same day he testified to Congress about the “Twitter Files.”
“On March 27, 2023, we wrote to you seeking information about the IRS’s visit to Mr. Taibbi’s home. On May 6, and with Mr. Taibbi’s consent, the IRS produced some documents responsive to the request. These documents, however, raise more questions than they answer,” Jordan wrote.
According to Jordan, the IRS told the committee that it was attempting to guarantee the reporter was not a victim of identity fraud. The agency explained that a letter explaining the tax disparity was delivered to Taibbi in October 2019 and again in March 2020.
“However, according to Mr. Taibbi, neither he nor his accountant received either of these letters or any other notification that there was an issue with his 2018 tax return that is, until the IRS conducted a field visit at Mr. Taibbi’s home three years later,” Jordan’s letter explained, adding that the agency also failed “to produce these purported letters.”
Taibbi, a former Rolling Stone journalist who now writes for Substack, did not owe taxes, and the IRS ruled that he was due a refund and terminated the matter on March 23, after the visit.
“The IRS’s production shows that the IRS opened its examination of Mr. Taibbi’s 2018 tax return on December 24, 2022,” expounded the committee chair. “Not only was this date Christmas Eve and a Saturday, but it also happened to be three weeks after he published the first Twitter Files detailing government abuses and the same day that Mr. Taibbi published the ninth segment of the Twitter Files, detailing how federal government agencies ‘from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA’ coordinated to censor and coerce speech on various social media platforms.”
In March, Taibbi disclosed that an IRS agent had visited his New Jersey home and left a letter telling him to call the tax agency four days later. When he did, an IRS official allegedly informed him that his returns for 2018 and 2021 had been denied owing to concerns about identity theft.
Jordan’s letter makes no mention of Taibbi’s 2021 tax return, but the Ohio representative previously stated that it was also rejected due to identity fraud.
Jordan, who also chairs a subcommittee investigating the alleged weaponization of government institutions, wrote to Werfel, expressing concern that a tax inquiry would be launched on Christmas Eve.
“It is unclear from the documents alone why the IRS opened its examination of Mr. Taibbi’s tax return on such an unusual date or whether it coincided intentionally with Mr. Taibbi’s reporting about government censorship,” Jordan added.
Taibbi also appeared on Fox News’ America Reports confirming the timeline referenced in Jordan’s letter. Host John Roberts noted how rare it is for the IRS to engage in substantive business on both Saturdays and holidays.
Taibbi agreed, explaining that he had just released an article claiming ties between the FBI and Big Tech at the time.
“[The IRS examination] was a three-year-old case, and I didn’t owe them any money. So all of those factors combined to make the optics of this really strange,” Taibbi said. “You would wonder what supervisor would be calling an agent on a Saturday and asking him to come into work to open up a case.”
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