IRS follies are piling up fast:
- Remember how the IRS was caught seizing money from people and businesses without bothering to give them any sort of due process — using asset forfeiture powers and transaction structuring rules to commit brazen theft? Congress held hearings in which they pretended to be outraged at the agency’s use of the laws Congress had passed specifically to encourage such crimes. The agency promised they would stop. But stop they did not. They were caught once again, this time stealing $107,000 from a businessman, offering to give half of it back as a compromise, and threatening him if he went public about it. He lawyered up and contacted the Institute for Justice (like the ACLU but less likely to trip over politically-correct nonsense) and they helped him get all of his money back from the thieves.
- The IRS was also caught illegally trying to shake down tax preparers by inventing a requirement to be licensed by the agency. 89,000 tax preparers paid $116 apiece to take a competency test devised by the agency before a court ruled that the IRS had no legal authority to establish this requirement. Now the agency has been forced to refund the $10 million ill-gotten gains from the scheme.
worker decided to call in to Howard Stern’s radio show while on the job.
He was put on hold, and decided to take a call from a taxpayer while he
was waiting. Then: “When the radio show took the IRS representative’s call off hold, it apparently wasn’t made clear to the IRS representative — who just kept talking. That conversation was broadcast on air.”
How did the woman find out? Her phone started buzzing as she received numerous calls and texts from all over the country. Her personal phone number had been broadcast along with part of the conversation.
The woman told a local news outlet that the incident has been “devastating” and she has not been able to eat because of the stress. Of course, she’s considering lawyering up.
- Does the name Lois Lerner ring a bell? She’s the bête noire of the IRS targeting scandal that the American right-wing can’t stop turning with their pitchforks. But you might have missed this angle: Lois Lerner was also apparently the go-to person for the Japanese whaling industry which was lobbying to get the agency to revoke the 501(c)3 charity status from the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
- So much money is being made through identity theft by filing for bogus tax refunds by impersonating U.S. taxpayers, I suppose it was inevitable that those with the best access to taxpayer identifying information — IRS employees themselves — would try to get in on the action. And try they have. We only hear about the ones that get caught, of course, but they’re likely only the tip of the iceberg.
- Identity thieves used the IRS’s “Get Transcript” service (by which taxpayers could get copies of their tax returns and other data from their IRS files) to get the tax info from 100,000 taxpayers. With this information, the thieves will be better able to impersonate that unlucky 100,000 for a variety of scams, and will be able to file very authentic-seeming amended returns going back several years to efficiently steal millions of dollars back from the agency.
- Is it any surprise that only 31% of Americans trust the IRS to enforce the tax laws fairly?