If you are an American taxpayer, the idea that your political (or other?) views could impact your taxes is pretty frightening. When you consider the power to tax—which includes the power to destroy—the mere suggestion of targeting is abhorrent. It’s one reason all the denials–including President Obama’s ‘no smidgen of corruption’ remark to Fox News in February–inflame rather than quell debate.
First there was no targeting by the IRS. Then there was, but only by those rogue IRS employees down in Cincinnati. Then, there was a spontaneous uprising from a youtube video (oops sorry, wrong
lie scandal). There was confusion about how to apply the tax law, but not political, and not from above. Then top IRS Official Lois Lerner refused to testify.
IRS Commissioner Miller seemed defiant too and was sacked. Then, there was a year-long Congressional investigation before the IRS finally admitted the 2009-2011 Lois Lerner’s emails ‘disappeared.’ Then, the backups
didn’t work were recycled. Then, the new IRS Commissioner said the IRS needs a bigger tech budget.
Now, not the IRS but the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has found the 30,000
missing lost destroyed emails. They aren’t sorted yet, and who knows what they will reveal. Numerous IRS officials testified that the backup tapes were recycled and the emails were gone. Turns out they were misinformed mislead mistaken. It isn’t only Congress that was asked over and over to buy the IRS “we have nothing” mantra. The IRS has said it in court too.
But now, the Inspector General discovered the potential emails among 744 disaster recovery tapes, finding up to 30,000 of Lois Lerner’s emails from the key 2009 to 2011 period. They could reveal nothing, or they could be smoking guns. But all taxpayers should care since transparency and integrity are key to our system.
The IRS audits, sends bills, imposes penalties, files liens and levies. Yet incredibly, most of the money the IRS collects is self-assessed. We all fill out tax returns and voluntarily send in money. Part of the reason we comply may be fear that we’ll be viewed as willful, risking jail if we don’t. Yet how much we believe in the system is critical to making it work.
What do most people think of the IRS these days? I don’t mean your personal feelings when you get a letter from the IRS, even one via certified mail foretelling something serious. Or a knock on the door from the IRS with badges, maybe even guns. Anyone who has been through any of that knows it is unsettling even if you come out fine.
via The Tax Lawyer http://ift.tt/1qQPJH6