IRS Scandal Update

The political news has been dominated as of late by the ObamaCare follies. However, the IRS scandal continues to percolate. There has been some news this past week:

The National Organization for Marriage sued the IRS over the leak of its Form 990 Schedule B; that schedule contains NOM’s list of donors. That’s confidential under the law. Unfortunately, someone at the IRS leaked that Schedule B to its political opponent, the Human Rights Campaign. That in itself is a violation of federal law. It appears the House Ways and Means Committee has figured out who the villain is, and they would like to see the Department of Justice prosecute that individual. No word from the DOJ on this happening; given the politicized nature of the current DOJ, I doubt we’ll see this happen.

Meanwhile, it appears we know why Lois Lerner took the Fifth: The Washington Examiner accuses Ms. Lerner of sharing confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups with the Federal Elections Commission. That’s also a violation of the law. Though the Examiner is the accuser, it’s really Judicial Watch that’s making the accusation; that organization obtained emails under a Freedom of Information Act request that allegedly show Ms. Lerner emailed the confidential information. I’m sure the DOJ will get right on this (not).


For the IRS to function effectively, it needs both a reasonable budget and to be apolitical. It’s vital that the Department of Justice go after individuals who turn the IRS into a political organization from an apolitical one. Yet the current Administration apparently doesn’t see the urgency in this issue. That’s a huge mistake, and one that will definitely come back to haunt them and all Americans. We need a well functioning IRS…and given what the Administration is doing (and not doing), it’s very likely the budget for the IRS will continue to shrink.


Welcome Instapundit readers. I cover taxes with an emphasis on small businesses and gambling (my two tax practice specialty areas); I also focus on Nevada and Maryland (where our two offices are) and California (where I used to live and work). I try to have some fun with taxes as the subject is generally tedious.

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4 Responses to “IRS Scandal Update”

  1. Russ — some in the tax professional community dispute that there is in fact any scandal. For instance, Bob Mackenzie — one of the great minds in tax resolution — has claims at forbes.com that the House Investigation as being lead by someone just like Joe McCarthy. Do you agree with such sentiments?

    Anthony

    • Russ says:

      I know and respect Bob McKenzie, but I disagree with him here. It is vital that the IRS be apolitical. The latest revelations–that IRS employees allegedly leaked confidential information for political reasons–is scandalous. The apparent lack of prosecution efforts by the Department of Justice is disturbing. (It is, of course, possible that the DOJ is doing something; we both know that the DOJ doesn’t work that fast. However, it certainly appears that the DOJ is doing nothing.)

      Republicans accused the IRS of targeting the Tea Party. When this was discovered the IRS should have announced it, asked for assistance from the DOJ or TIGTA, and taken their lumps. Instead, the imminent release of the TIGTA audit led to the backwards way news of the IRS scandal broke. (As always, it’s the cover-up that always causes more problems than the crime itself.)

      Yes, this is a scandal. We need an effective apolitical IRS. Until everyone involved comes clean, we don’t have one.

  2. [...] I identified this issue earlier this month. I’ll repeat what I said then: For the IRS to function effectively, it needs both a reasonable budget and to be apolitical. It’s vital that the Department of Justice go after individuals who turn the IRS into a political organization from an apolitical one. Yet the current Administration apparently doesn’t see the urgency in this issue. That’s a huge mistake, and one that will definitely come back to haunt them and all Americans. We need a well functioning IRS…and given what the Administration is doing (and not doing), it’s very likely the budget for the IRS will continue to shrink. [...]

  3. [...] this scandal has a huge potential to harm US tax administration. As I’ve said before, For the IRS to function effectively, it needs both a reasonable budget and to be apolitical. It’s [...]

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