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IRS Claims To Have Lost Emails, But Charged Veteran For Lost Gear

June 22, 2014

Let’s just compare this:

Gerrad Branum, a veteran who served in Iraq in the early 2000?s, was recently charged for equipment that had been lost nearly a decade ago.  According to the veteran, on his way home from Iraq, a bag was lost that was filled with equipment that had been issued to him.  He reported the equipment as lost and didn’t hear anything…until this year when the IRS kept $1,600 of his tax refund in order to pay for the missing gear.

With this:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said it can’t provide emails sent between 2009 and 2011 that were requested by congressional investigators because of hard drive crashes.

The agency said that emails stored on dead drives were lost forever because its email backup tapes were recycled every six months, and employees were responsible for keeping their own long-term archives.


Now for the punch line:

The IRS had a contract with email backup service vendor Sonasoft starting in 2005, according to, which lists the contract as being for “automatic data processing services.” Sonasoft’s motto is “email archiving done right,” and the company lists the IRS as a customer.