“Neither Confirm nor Deny the Existence of the TECs data”: IRS Using the TECs Database to Track Taxpayers Movements –
See for instance, the following posts: Should IRS use Department of Homeland Security to Track Taxpayers Overseas Re: Civil (not Criminal) Tax Matters? The IRS works with Department of Homeland Security with TECs Database to Track Movement of Taxpayers
Interestingly, the release of IRS internal training manuals and materials (which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act – FOIA – request) and includes the Power Point slide in this post, describes the TECs database and how it can be used by IRS agents regarding foreign assets and individuals as follows:
The Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS) is a database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and it is used extensively by the law enforcement community. TECS contains historical travel information such as records of commercial airline flights, border crossings, and specific dates that individuals have traveled to and from the United States.
All this information could provide you with potential leads to pursue.
For example, the discovery of where the taxpayer may hold assets or accounts or where the taxpayer conducts business. It may also assist in determining taxpayer’s residency and the credibility of taxpayer testimony. TECS may have gaps in the information captured, caution is advised. For example, it might contain incomplete information about border crossings, private plane and private boat information. It does not contain enough stand alone data to determine residency. It should be used together with other sources of information.
In addition, the IRS training materials demonstrates the secrecy of the TECs database and what steps the IRS tells their agents to take regarding the TECs database. The following excerpt directly from the IRS “Matrix Application Training International Individual Compliance: Basic Structures Part II: Pre-Audit, Investigative Techniques & Statutes”
• IRM 188.8.131.52.10 – Covers using TECS Historical Travel Information
First and foremost, do not discuss the existence of TECS with the taxpayers. We must neither confirm nor deny the existence of TECS data.