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Michael Sardar Quoted In “Data Analytics Are Coming To An IRS Special Agent Near You”, Taxnotes Today

Ever since CI started talking about its new data analytics strategy, the division has been fielding privacy and disclosure concerns.

Asked if the IRS has the right to apply its new sophisticated data analytics tools to a taxpayer’s data, Michael Sardar of Kostelanetz & Fink LLP said that the standard search and seizure analyses involve situations in which the government needs to spend a large amount of resources — for example, with visual surveillance or telephone wiretapping. “There’s a parallel in terms of how much effort the government has to put in versus what they are going to get out of it, and that’s how you determine
what is reasonable,” he said.

The emergence of new analytical tools that make data searches fast and easy raises the question of whether the thresholds for reasonable government searches should be reexamined, according to Sardar. Once the government has to spend less effort on a search, it is likely to engage in more of them, he said.

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