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Sunday, May 19, 2013

The IRS Scandal, Day 10

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/05/the-irs-.html

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Comments

Same as I said before, more wasted words, nothing will change. This has been going on for many years.

Posted by: Ray | May 19, 2013 8:17:19 AM

To be fair, the IRS officials might have had to plant that question. Apparently, if it isn't on the news Obama never hears about what's going on in the federal government.

Posted by: JKB | May 19, 2013 9:13:34 AM

repeating earlier comment:
I don't understand how these tea party groups wound up paying and/or doing so much in response to these questions. If the govt agency I normally dealt with sent me such an intrusive, politically charged series of questions, my next response would've been to go over the head of the bureaucrat in question. Possibly CCing the IRS inspector general and relevant House oversight people. I would've declined to answer the questions until the IRS showed actual guidelines and or relevance of each question, directly from the CFR or other official documents.

I mean, the actions of the IRS personnel are despicable and undoubtedly extends to the top. But any attorney who took these questions seriously was probably just lining his pocket.

I also like the warnings about perjury and what not. A simple reply would've been, "no, why don't you, under perjury, and under threat of other anti discrimination (i.e., 1983) laws detail that these questions are necessary and proper and in the regular course of conduct, etc. etc." And of course, cc:ing everyone between the bureaucrat in question and my local sympathetic congressman. Here's a chance for the IRS to explain why they're asking what they're asking and if there's any wrong answer, like what books or prayers are you concerned about?

But, I guess the IRS is a different government agency to deal with. There are usually rules and regulations and guidelines for action, not just rogue agents making it up as they go along. You know, oversight.

Posted by: joeinva | May 19, 2013 11:03:35 AM

I mean, shouldn't a tax lawyer have asked about the relevant CFR that would tell how the IRS factors a groups prayers or book list?

And basically point out the potential that these questions seem a wee bit out of line and therefore please provide me with the, since you said these were all public documents, a sample letter sent to a progressive organization. And again, please certify that these questions are IRS policy, signed by every layer of management in your office?

I mean, every in the IRS is not denying that this was anything other than local officials. Well, if the applicants had demanded supervisory oversight, that claim would not stand.

Posted by: joeinva | May 19, 2013 11:08:16 AM

Besides being Obama donors, I wonder if any of these IRS people are AFSCME or SEIU members? Public employee unions are the Democrat's shock troops, so this too could be why they conveniently hamstrung pro-small-government while rubberstamping union and "progressive" groups.

Posted by: They are europe-style parasites | May 19, 2013 1:29:14 PM

They are europe-style parasites: IRS employees are represented by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). They almost always support Democrats.

It is not mandatory to join or remain in the union.

Posted by: Elmer Stoup | May 20, 2013 7:00:48 AM

JoeinVa makes an important point. Lawyers were exploiting these c4 clients in the intervening years. Some lawyers promote a culture of fear so that clients keep paying and paying. People with no experience running a c4 are especially vulnerable to exorbitant and ever rising legal bills.

Try this. Ask the same question to a CPA and to a 501/527 specialist lawyer. The CPA will simply solve your problem; the lawyer will spend a year telling you what else you need to do to build a case against the person who created your problem.

Posted by: Lenny Leonard | May 22, 2013 10:30:44 AM