Paul L. Caron
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Buchanan: The IRS Is the Most Trustworthy Agency in the Country

Neil H. Buchanan (George Washington), Is the IRS the Most Trustworthy Agency in the Country? Even Republicans Seem to Think So:

[M]y claim here is that, if one looks carefully at the role that the IRS is repeatedly asked to play in our society, it is evident that politicians across the political spectrum at least implicitly understand that the people who enforce our tax laws are uniquely capable professionals who do their work extremely well. Moreover, politically-motivated attacks on the IRS, especially calls to shut down the agency entirely, are simplistic and dangerous. We need to have an agency to collect taxes, and we should be glad that we have one that is as good as ours is. ...

It would be foolish to describe any organization – public or private – as perfect. Yet it remains true that the IRS is an agency that has been saddled with extraordinarily difficult work, and exposed to public scorn and ridicule (and worse), and yet it efficiently carries out an impressively broad range of the policy choices that emerge from our political system. Seriously changing the IRS's role (or eliminating it entirely) would not only be pointless, but expensive and self-defeating as well.

Neil blogs the piece in Congress Loves the IRS, and We Should, Too.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2010/03/buchanan-.html

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Comments

"Its regulations, code, etc., ARE NOT LAW! The tax system in this country is a gigantic fraud, and the so-called federal government is a criminal syndicate!"

Then don't pay your taxes and see what happens

Posted by: Jious | Mar 13, 2010 7:39:52 PM

Section 111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code provides,

a)Deductions
Gross income does not include income attributable to the recovery during the taxable year of any amount deducted in any prior taxable year to the extent such amount did not reduce the amount of tax imposed by this chapter.

IRS ignores section 111(a) and issues instructions that include itemized deduction recoveries in the determination of taxable Social Security benfits. As a consequence the gross income attributable to a itemized deduction recovery can exceed the amount of the recovery by up to 85 percent. Itemized deductions do not reduce gross income and only reduce taxable income dollar for dollar.

IRS includes itemized deduction in AGI and modified AGI bassed phase-outs and phase-downs of a total of about 30 deductions, exemptions, exclusions, eligibilities, or credits.

I suppose that the government needs the stolen money to make up for the money lost as a result of IRS's fraudulent instruction on Line 8 of Form 6251 that results in the exclusion of ALL tax refunds that provided a tax benefit in the prior year that are entered on Line 10 or 21 of Form 1040 rather than just those from taxes that were not allowed as deduction in determining Alternative Minimum Taxable Income but could have nevertheless produce a limited LTCG rate based tax benefit as a result of the calculations on page 2 of Form 6251.

From SHOE 2/25/2010:
Wiz, do you believe in artificial intelligence?
Not as much as I believe in natural stupidity.

Posted by: WD Kebschull | Mar 13, 2010 10:36:11 AM

Note too that as a "matter of law" 26 USC defines "income" in only 2 places:"ordinary income" and "gross income". The great unwashed public have no idea that it is being scammed and terrorized by the IRS--in this regard. Agaib check the laws.

Posted by: Flat Earth | Mar 13, 2010 6:32:33 AM

But note that although it is Congress that writes the laws--the IRS just abuses them. So blame the IRS. Examples: the 16th Amendment use of the term "income" is outrageously abused by the IRS. The IRS also abuses the statutes of 26 USC. Check the laws first before defending the IRS

Posted by: Flat Earth | Mar 13, 2010 6:27:19 AM


The Federal Government is supposed to receive only Revenue from the U.S. Territories and Possessions of the United States to maintain the Federal District of Columbia (Washington D.C.). The Feds were never meant to collect Taxes from the States. Only our individual States are allowed to collect state revenues for its own purposes and needs.

The scam of the Fed Reserve System can and has bypass Governors and Congress for illegal financing not for just only Corporate profit but also International private financial gain. These are the same people who are selling our weapon technology and "secrets" to the highest bidder.

We get the government we deserve.


Posted by: Greenback | Mar 12, 2010 9:14:30 PM

If the individual income tax were not based on voluntary compliance rather than statutory law, the system would be unconstitutional and illegal because it would violate practically every article contained in the Bill of Rights. Therefore, any agency that can successfully enforce "voluntary compliance" to support an income tax system not based on law is to be admired.

Posted by: plumbbob | Mar 12, 2010 6:37:49 PM

Of course a tax attourney would back the IRS, without it, he has no job. Go back and read the constitution buddy.

Posted by: rsbl | Mar 12, 2010 4:48:05 PM

The comments above prove the eternal dictum that one's point of view depends on whose ox is being gored.

Posted by: Jake | Mar 12, 2010 4:17:56 PM

Even assuming the IRS is awful, it still might be "the most trustworthy agency in the country."

Posted by: GU | Mar 12, 2010 1:22:07 PM

Nothing in the world is as it appears to be as we live in a world of fictions created by government. We have been brainwashed since childhood to obey the edicts of those who live behind a curtain, unseen by the great masses of the plain people. Acts of Congress are not laws, they are public policy to be enforced by a headless branch of government known as the administrative state. Agencies operate via regulations; administrative, procedural, interpretive and substantive. Only substantive regulations have the force and effect of law and are binding on the great unwashed. (See Chrysler v Brown, 441 U.S. 281) The IRS has not promulgated any substantive regulations for liability, the filing of a return or assessment as all their regulations under 26 USC 7805 are interpretive. The grand illusion is facilitated by the enablers at the DOJ and the ignorant, or complicit, attorneys at law.

The independent Treasury of the United States was abolished by the Treasury Act of 1920 and its functions were rolled into what is now the GAO. The "Secretary of the Treasury" is actually the Governor of the IMF and is not paid by the Government of the United States, nor does he have an Oath of Office. The IRS is the collection agency of the privately owned cartel, the Federal Reserve Bank. Checks to the "U.S Treasury" are deposited into this privately owned cartel as there is no Treasury of the United States.

Posted by: Hardy Harhar | Mar 12, 2010 1:17:45 PM

> The IRS does not make our ridiculous tax laws, it only enforces them

"I was only taking orders" is no excuse.

Posted by: JL | Mar 12, 2010 12:07:44 PM

It's very interesting that all of the practitioners commenting distrust the IRS and the only one supporting it is a law professor who, other than as a taxpayer, doesn't have to deal with it.

Posted by: mike livingston | Mar 12, 2010 11:45:53 AM

The above statement makes me feel like flying a small airplane into this blog, and I'm not even American.

Posted by: Luke | Mar 12, 2010 10:45:45 AM

To the "they only enforce" the laws crowd... no they don't "just enforce them". They make lots of rules with their regulations.

I also doubt that they are competent and fair. In my dealings with them they are invariably wrong, ham fisted and remind me of car dealers.

If the IRS is the "best" we have then that is the "best" argument for much smaller government.

Posted by: Ken Nelson | Mar 12, 2010 10:29:14 AM

I agree with GU. You people do realize that Congress writes the Tax Code right? Congress also will amend that same tax code to overwrite any rulings or regulations the IRS passes which do not fit within the scheme envisioned by Congress.

Take issue with Congress or the current President. I do not see the logic in taking issue with the agency who carries out those laws though. Certainly the IRS is less ideologically inclined than agencies such as the EPA?

Or put another way, what exactly has the IRS done to earn your distrust?

Posted by: ewn | Mar 12, 2010 10:28:15 AM

"Eating unicorns makes you immortal, fairies use jelly beans to brainwash our children and rainbows are made of taffy." - An excerpt from Neil H. Buchanan's commentary on the physical world, "Really Real Stuff, Because I Say So!" .

Posted by: Shane | Mar 12, 2010 10:19:09 AM

The IRS does enforce the law, and it has a lot of incompetent people who are doing it in the harshest ways that they can. There's nothing that some like better than sticking it to a taxpayer. That's not to take away from their good employees, but when I find a few and want their direct number to circumvent idiots, they aren't allowed to give it to me.

Posted by: Woody | Mar 12, 2010 10:17:11 AM

Wow, mentioning the IRS brings the crazies out. The inability of people to grasp the following two points is pretty frustrating. (1) The IRS does not make our ridiculous tax laws, it only enforces them; (2) relative to other government agencies, the IRS is very competent and fair.

Number two is disputable, but not prima facie ridiculous, as many weirdos claim.

Posted by: GU | Mar 12, 2010 9:49:20 AM

If this is true, then God help us all.

Posted by: Woody | Mar 12, 2010 9:27:19 AM

This may actually be true.
Think about it.
The IRS is the most trustworthy agency in our country!

Posted by: F. Friendly | Mar 12, 2010 8:58:20 AM

What a relief! No, not that the IRS is "trustworthy"... we all know that's bogus as a three dollar bill. The relief is that some nobody named NEIL Buchanan, not PAT Buchanan, says so.
If Pat Buchanan wrote something that bogus I'd know they had him in Gitmo.

Posted by: Richard Carpenter | Mar 12, 2010 8:40:28 AM

The IRS isn't a government agency. It is a private collection agency for a cartel of private banks, and hence, it has no legal authority to tax anybody.

Its regulations, code, etc., ARE NOT LAW! The tax system in this country is a gigantic fraud, and the so-called federal government is a criminal syndicate!

Posted by: Big M | Mar 12, 2010 8:28:46 AM

Let Mr. Buchanan know what you think. nbuchanan@law.gwu.edu

Posted by: jdogg | Mar 12, 2010 8:23:59 AM

Well I'm glad that "politicians across the political spectrum" trust the IRS. Good to know. I guess that leaves out about the other 300,000,000 of us not so trusting. Indeed, distrustful even, given the inscrutable tens of thousands of IRS provisions, forms and rulings of which we might unwittingly run afoul. We are even distrustful of the guys and gals across the political spectrum, from big government to really big government to superduper big government, who trust the IRS. So clarifying to know where people stand.

Posted by: Jim Hlavac | Mar 12, 2010 7:27:08 AM

I understand that the Obama Administration is creating a post of Chief Ideologist, as in the former Soviet Union, and Professor Buchanan is the leading candidate.

Posted by: mike livingston | Mar 12, 2010 6:43:47 AM