I.R.S. Fudging on Refunds of Improperly-Collected Tax

the IRS threw in the towel, decided to stop trying to enforce the federal excise tax on long-distance phone service, and said it would issue refunds for the tax it had improperly collected over the past three years.

, some of the same taxpayers who fought to repeal the tax in the first place are calling foul on the IRS’s refund plan, saying it “will effectively deny refunds to and shortchange American taxpayers entitled to refunds by billions of dollars.”

There appear to be three main parts to their beef:

  1. The IRS is not refunding all of the taxes they improperly collected, but only three years’ worth.
  2. The IRS is requiring individuals to apply for their refund as part of the tax return they file in . Millions of people who do not file tax returns (typically senior citizens and people with very low incomes) will not be able to get refunds this way.
  3. Small businesses are required to document the exact amount of this tax that they paid over the years in order to get a credit, which is a hurdle almost all small business will be unable to overcome.

“For no stated reason and with no legal authority to do so, the IRS unilaterally acted to sharply cut the payback of taxpayers’ own money,” said Jonathan Cuneo, one of the attorneys. “It is simply unfair to exclude millions of non-filers from the payback and force small ‘mom and pop’ businesses to expend hours and hours collecting and analyzing over years of records in order to receive their own money.”

The storm that put the basement of the IRS headquarters in Washington under 20 feet of water was even worse than reported . The latest word is that the necessary tens of millions of dollars of repairs won’t be complete and won’t even be able to begin until the building dries out or so.

The building’s 2,400 employees have been temporarily assigned to other offices or are working from home.

As a follow-up to my note about a raid on an Oakland military recruitment office by members of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, I’m happy to report that a number of clowns sledge-hammered their way into and vandalized a Minuteman missile silo in North Dakota.