Paul L. Caron
Dean


Friday, September 18, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 862

IRS Logo 2Robert W. Wood (Forbes), IRS 'Tax Protester' Label Is Harder To Delete Than Lois Lerner Emails:

In 1998, Congress passed a law prohibiting the IRS from labeling people as “illegal tax protesters.” In fact, Congress ordered the IRS to purge the “protester” code from its computer files on 57,000 Americans. Every year, the Treasury Department’s Inspector General reviews how well the IRS is doing at purging the protester label. It turns out the protester epithet is hard to entirely eliminate, even after all these years. The 2015 audit report says a few people at the IRS still do it.

Using illegal tax protester or other similar designations may stigmatize taxpayers and may cause the IRS to be biased against them in future contacts. Congress enacted the prohibition against illegal tax protester designations because it was concerned that some taxpayers were being permanently labeled that way even though they later fixed their tax problems or stopped doing things the IRS thought were unreasonably against the tax system.

Mostly, the IRS is careful about these hot button words now. The report says of approximately 4.8 million records and cases, there were only four instances in which IRS employees referred to taxpayers as “Tax Protester,” “Constitutionally Challenged,” or other similar designations in case narratives in the Appeals Centralized Database System.

The Inspector General recommended that the Chief, Appeals, emphasize to all Appeals employees the importance of reinforcing that taxpayers are not to be referred to as Illegal Tax Protesters or any other similar designations. In a response to the report, the IRS management agreed. Of course, there are plenty of negative things you can be called in the tax world–for example “aggressive” or “delinquent”–one of the worst to be called is “frivolous.” In IRS lingo it’s about as bad as you can get, just shy of the other “f” word, “fraudulent.”

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/09/the-irs-scandal-day-862.html

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Comments

This law is silly. Every business has troublesome customers. The business needs to identify them and fire them. The IRS needs to do much the same.

A tax protester by any other name would need to be treated the same way. The name is not the problem.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Sep 18, 2015 8:04:45 AM

“[O]f approximately 4.8 million records and cases, there were only four instances in which IRS employees referred to taxpayers as ‘Tax Protester,’ ‘Constitutionally Challenged,’ or other similar designations in case narratives in the Appeals Centralized Database System.” Let’s see, four out of 4.8 million; that is 0.000083%. Scandalous and highly abusive!!! Abolish the IRS immediately!!!

Posted by: Old Hand | Sep 18, 2015 11:06:08 AM