Tag Archives: internal revenue service

IRS Watchdog: IRS Cuts Taxpayer Services; Elderly and Disabled Taxpayers Not Allowed to Leave Messages

Despicable. The IRS was punished in its budget for using their power as a political weapon, so their retaliation is to not take calls from tax payers, starting with the elderly and disabled.

ATR:

In its annual Report to Congress today, the office of the National Taxpayer Advocate outlined a series of Internal Revenue Service failures. In the “Access to the IRS” section, the report details the trouble taxpayers face reaching the right person in order to meet their tax obligations:

“The IRS does not answer the phone at local offices and has even removed the option it once provided for taxpayers, including the elderly and disabled, to leave a message.

Until 2013, taxpayers — including the elderly and disabled — were allowed to leave a voicemail requesting an in-person appointment. But now, elderly and disabled taxpayers attempting to navigate the automated helpline maze are asked to email the IRS to set up an appointment. The automated message instructs as follows:

“If you are disabled or elderly and require special accommodations for service, please email us at…”

But this leaves many taxpayers in the dark. As the report states:

“Demographic research data show only 57 percent of adults over age 65 use the Internet compared with 87 percent of all adults. According to 2010 Census data, only 41 percent of those with a non-severe disability use the Internet and only 22 percent of those with a severe disability age 65 and older use the Internet. For those without Internet access, the only viable ways to reach the IRS are by phone, or in person.”

On its helplines, the IRS is required to provide taxpayers the option to speak with a live person. But as the report states, the IRS won’t even answer questions about what lines are considered helplines:

“TAS [Taxpayer Advocate Service] twice inquired of the IRS in a formal information request whether it considers the 3709 lines to be ‘helplines’ for the purpose of § 3705(d) of RRA 98, which would require them to have an option to speak with a live person. TAS also asked what lines the IRS does consider to be helplines. Twice, the IRS declined to answer these questions.”

The full report may be accessed here.

 

NYT: Obama IRS Seizing Cash From Small Businesses. No Charges Filed….

…and letting the small business pay lawyers thousands to sue the government and try to get their money back.

There used to be about a hundred of these types of seizures per year, The Obama Administration did 639 just in 2012 alone.

New York Times:

ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa — For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.

The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

“How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”

The federal government does.

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.

“They’re going after people who are really not criminals,” said David Smith, a former federal prosecutor who is now a forfeiture expert and lawyer in Virginia. “They’re middle-class citizens who have never had any trouble with the law.”

On Thursday, in response to questions from The New York Times, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally or seizure is deemed justified by “exceptional circumstances.”

[Editor’s Note: This is an admission that the IRS knew that they were seizing money from people they knew full well were innocent.]

But the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based public interest law firm that is seeking to reform civil forfeiture practices, analyzed structuring data from the I.R.S., which made 639 seizures in 2012, up from 114 in 2005. Only one in five was prosecuted as a criminal structuring case.

The practice has swept up dairy farmers in Maryland, an Army sergeant in Virginia saving for his children’s college education and Ms. Hinders, 67, who has borrowed money, strained her credit cards and taken out a second mortgage to keep her restaurant going.

 

IG Report: IRS Lying to American Public, Illegally Conclealing Requested FOIA Information

Via Redstate:

As the Washington Examiner reports:

A review of the Internal Revenue Service’s compliance with the Freedom of Information Act found the agency intentionally withheld or failed to “adequately search” for requested information in hundreds of cases.

In others, the IRS released more than it was authorized, dispensing “sensitive taxpayer information,” including individuals’ bank records.

Many of the FOIA requests centered around, you guessed it, the IRS targeting scandal.

The cover-up is stunning.  “The IRS concealed information it should have released in response to an estimated 336 requests in 2013, according to the report.”

In response to a report (from the same IG’s office) detailing the IRS targeting scandal, the American public demanded to know the truth.  The American people sent in numerous FOIA requests, and the IRS concealed pertinent information at least 336 times.

If that’s not a cover-up I don’t know what is.

In addition, we know that the IRS was in the process of covering up the IRS targeting while it was going on.  In at least one instance, back in 2010-2011, the height of the targeting scandal and just before IRS computers started mysteriously crashing, the IRS denied there were any responsive documents at the IRS regarding the “Tea Party” in response to a FOIA request.  That was another flat out lie.

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is the American public’s avenue to get the truth, to provide sunlight and oversight on the federal government.  When the government conceals information in a FOIA request is essentially lying to the American public at large.

Lawsuit: IRS ‘Wiped Clean’ Email Evidence in Separate Case

Here we go yet again with the illegal scrubbing of important documents at the IRS (and EPA, and DoJ).

Via The Blaze:

An Ohio-based private jet company entangled in a multi-million dollar lawsuit with the Internal Revenue Service filed a motion this week asserting the tax agency is missing emails from three separate employees that would be evidence in the case, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

IRS Chief Counsel Lois Lerner
IRS Chief Counsel Lois Lerner

 

The court motion and the federal case are unrelated to the IRS targeting scandal. Nevertheless, it comes after extensive congressional inquiries in Washington over missing emails from Lois Lerner, the former head of IRS tax-exempt organizations unit, who last year admitted to giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups applying for exempt status.

The IRS said the subpoenaed Lerner emails were destroyed in a hard drive crash. The agency later admitted that other emails related to the targeting were missing.

The jet company, NetJets, asserts that the IRS “wiped clean a number of computer hard drives containing emails and other electronic documents that the government was required to produce,” according to the motion filed with U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr., the Dispatch reported.

The motion further says that three IRS employees erased the computer of “an excise-tax policy manager and a key decision maker regarding the application of the section 4261 ticket tax to whole and fractional aircraft-management companies.”

obama vs lios lerner nothing to hide cartoon

Obama’s Swiss Banker …. Oh the Hypocrisy!

Unreal….

Washington Beacon:

One of President Obama’s largest financial backers is a key executive at the largest Swiss bank in the world, complicating his criticism of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Robert Wolf is president of Swiss financial giant UBS Investment Bank and chairman of UBS Americas. He has been one of Obama’s most prolific fundraisers dating back to 2006, when the former Senator from Illinois initiated his run for the White House.

Wolf has bundled more than $500,000 for the president’s reelection, campaign records show. He is but one of many wealthy bankers Obama has turned to in an effort to win a second term.

According to campaign reporter John Heilemann, Obama and Wolf first met in December 2006 in a conference room owned by liberal billionaire George Soros, who is currently embroiled in a domestic dispute with his 31-year-old ex-girlfriend.

It was a match made for the ages, Heilemann argued—the “hope and change” candidate and the sympathetic Wall Street millionaire.

Obama eagerly courted the “A-List New York donor,” who would become the future president’s “most copious cash collector in the city by far,” raising more than $500,000 for his 2008 campaign.

Wolf’s company, UBS, gave an additional $532,000, making it the 15th largest contributor to Obama’s first presidential run.

“The way Barack has taken this nation with his rock-star status,” Wolf told Heilemann in 2007, “it’s very exciting!”

Upon taking office in early 2009, Obama appointed Wolf to the Economic Recovery Advisory Board that would help craft the controversial $787 billion stimulus package.

Shortly after Wolf was appointed, UBS admitted to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and agreed to pay $780 million to ward off a federal investigation into its activities.

Wolf was also one of several major Democratic donors named to the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He remains a close adviser and golfing partnerto the president. A recent Wall Street Journal article dubbed Wolf “a ‘fat cat’ with the president’s ear.”

In addition to his prolific efforts as a campaign bundler, Wolf has personally contributed almost $200,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2007, including at least $9,100 to Obama and more than $115,000 to the Democratic National Committee.

Last month, Wolf hosted a $35,800-per-plate fundraiser for the president in New York City.

Another Obama bundler, Charles Adams, also has a Swiss address, as Buzzfeed noted earlier this year; he “heads the office of the law firm Akin Gump in the Swiss capital. Adams raised more than $100,000 for Obama, according to the report.”

Despite relying so heavily on a Swiss financial institution, the Obama campaign and its Democratic allies have sought to make political hay of Romney’s Swiss bank account, which he closed in 2010.

IRS asks for 4,000 agents to enforce new ObamaCare taxes…

Washington Examiner

The Internal Revenue Service wants to add about 4,000 agents to hunt down tax cheats and still plans to spend $303 million building a system to oversee Obamacare even though its future looks bleak in the U.S. Supreme Court.

A new Government Accountability Office review of the IRS 2012 tax return season and the taxman’s fiscal 2013 budget request also found that the agency’s customer service rating has slipped and 5.5 million returns were delayed a week because of a computer programming glitch.

Byron York: What really happened in the Gingrich ethics case?

Washington Examiner Byron York:

Given all the attention to the ethics matter, it’s worth asking what actually happened back in 1995, 1996, and 1997.  The Gingrich case was extraordinarily complex, intensely partisan, and driven in no small way by a personal vendetta on the part of one of Gingrich’s former political opponents. It received saturation coverage in the press; a database search of major media outlets revealed more than 10,000 references to Gingrich’s ethics problems during the six months leading to his reprimand.  It ended with a special counsel hired by the House Ethics Committee holding Gingrich to an astonishingly strict standard of behavior, after which Gingrich in essence pled guilty to two minor offenses.  Afterwards, the case was referred to the Internal Revenue Service, which conducted an exhaustive investigation into the matter.  And then, after it was all over and Gingrich was out of office, the IRS concluded that Gingrich did nothing wrong.  After all the struggle, Gingrich was exonerated.