Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Homepage: http://www.irs.gov/
<p>July 2002: "The Internal Revenue Service is the nation's tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress. Its mission: to provide America's taxpayers with top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all. The IRS, a branch of the Department of Treasury, deals directly with more Americans than any other institution, public or private. It also is one of the world's most efficient tax agencies. In 2000, the IRS collected more than $2 trillion in revenue and processed 226 million tax returns. It cost taxpayers 39-cents for each $100 collected by the IRS, the lowest cost/collection ratio since 1954."</p>
December 2012: 'The Internal Revenue Service regulations now say that a group health care plan that "fails to comply" with the Affordable Care Act is subject to an "excise tax" of "$100 per day per individual for each day the plan does not comply with the requirement." It remains unclear how the IRS would implement and collect the excise tax.'http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/27/hobby-lobby-faces-millions-in-fines-for-bucking-obamacare/
October 2012: "Though the marriage was recognized in New York, when Mrs. Spyer died in 2009, Mrs. Windsor was not able to claim a deduction for a federal estate tax that is available for the surviving partner of a marriage between heterosexuals. Mrs. Windsor, who had been the sole beneficiary of Mrs. Spyer’s estate, was forced to pay $363,053 in estate taxes. When she requested a refund, the Internal Revenue Service rejected her claim, citing federal marriage law."http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/us/appeals-court-rules-against-defense-of-marriage-act.html
December 2011: "So when several lesbians seeking to adopt a partner’s child received letters from the Internal Revenue Service that said they could not use the credit, they couldn’t help but wonder: Is the government choosing to recognize our unions only when it’s to the government’s benefit?"http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/i-r-s-denying-lesbians-legitimate-adoption-credit/
July 2011: "The Internal Revenue Service has allowed this method of accounting since the 1930s. In practice, according to the Congressional Budget Office, some companies prefer to sell their oldest inventory first, to minimize the risk that a product will become obsolete or be damaged. Under the president’s proposal, White House officials say, tax-accounting rules would reflect business practice and economic reality."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/us/politics/13tax.html
July 2010: "Congress has called on the Internal Revenue Service to pay rewards to whistleblowers on the theory that they may be the agency's best hope for penetrating tax-evasion schemes, but a recent change in an IRS manual could in certain cases block those rewards."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/30/AR2010063005349.html
June 2010: "Without an estate tax this year, the Internal Revenue Code grants an artificial step-up in basis, as it is called, of $1.3 million to be used at the executor’s discretion and $3 million on assets passed to a spouse. The only glitch is the Internal Revenue Service has yet to issue documents to record how this exemption has been applied."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/12/your-money/estate-planning/12wealth.html
May 2010: "Informants who turn in tax cheats have to wait years to get their share of any reward from the I.R.S.’s recently expanded whistle-blower program. So hedge funds, private equity groups and other big investors are offering an alternative. They are essentially agreeing to buy a percentage of those future payouts in exchange for a smaller amount upfront to the whistle-blowers."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/business/20whistleblower.html
April 2010: "The new law, embedded in the 393 pages of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, also directed the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax exemptions of groups that failed to file for three consecutive years. Three years have passed, and thus the deadline looms."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/us/23exempt.html
April 2010: "Dean Zerbe, who investigated nonprofits as Republican tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, said the law makes it hard for the IRS to turn down applicants for charitable status."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/03/AR2010040305010.html
April 2010: "The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed guidelines in an effort to keep track of the estimated 1.2 million paid tax-return preparers."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/07/AR2010040704547.html
July 2009: "The dispute, in which the Internal Revenue Service, backed by the Justice Department, is trying to force UBS to hand over the names of 52,000 wealthy American clients suspected of tax evasion, has escalated into a showdown that has frayed relations between Switzerland and the United States, peeled back layers of Swiss banking secrecy and rattled the world’s private banking industry. UBS and the Swiss have intensified their opposition this week, threatening to send more ripples through the global banking system."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/business/global/10ubs.html
April 2009: "After all, what are the odds of being audited? (For the record: Only about 1.4 million of the 135 million returns filed each year are audited and of those, only about 310,000 taxpayers are forced to look an I.R.S. agent in the eye and explain their numbers.)"http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/your-money/taxes/11money.html
June 2009: "But now that so many workers tote BlackBerrys and other cellphones issued by their employer, and so many companies don't enforce the tedious record-keeping rule, the Internal Revenue Service is weighing whether a portion of a work-related cellphone bill should be taxed as income."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/11/AR2009061104239_pf.html
March 2009: 'When Cindy Hockenberry and her husband sent in a tax-penalty payment in 2007, they knew there was a chance their math might not jibe with the IRS’s. When that turned out to be true and the amount was much higher than expected, they decided to dispute it. Fortunately for them, Hockenberry’s a pro. As tax research coordinator at the National Association of Tax Professionals, she spotted a glitch in the IRS’s calculation; after visiting the local IRS office, the agency admitted its mistake and lowered the penalty. “There’s no way the average taxpayer would have noticed,” she says.'http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/taxes/10-things-the-irs-will-not-tell-you/?cid=1122
December 2008: "That tax provision, which amended the Internal Revenue Code, was the only part of the law that contained an explicit enforcement mechanism. The provision means the IRS must review the pay of those executives as part of its normal review of tax filings. If a company does not comply, the IRS can impose a tax penalty. The law did not create an enforcement mechanism for reviewing the other restrictions on executive pay."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/14/AR2008121402670.html
July 2008: "In recent years, Mr. Kieber stole LGT client records and turned them over to German authorities, igniting a tax-evasion probe in Germany. Some of the records have made their way to the Internal Revenue Service, which is investigating 100 American citizens with LGT accounts."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/17/washington/17tax.html
July 2008: "The country’s largest eye-care insurance program plans to ask the Supreme Court to decide whether the Internal Revenue Service properly revoked its tax exemption in 2003, company executives said Tuesday."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/16/us/16exempt.html
July 2008: "The Internal Revenue Service plans to tighten the rules for a multibillion-dollar program created to make sure offshore bank customers pay their United States taxes, top tax officials say."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/business/15tax.html
May 2008: "Five workers at the Internal Revenue Service's Fresno, California, return processing center were charged Monday with computer fraud and unauthorized access to tax return information for allegedly peeking into taxpayers' files for their own purposes."http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/05/five-irs-employ.html
April 2008: "The Internal Revenue Service expects to lose more than $37 million by using private debt collectors to pursue tax scofflaws through a program that has outraged consumers and led to charges on Capitol Hill that the agency is wasting money for work that IRS agents could do more effectively."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/14/AR2008041402808.html
February 2008: "February 2008: 'Complaints about tax preparers, including allegations of inaccuracies and returns that weren't filed on time, are up 80% in the past five years, says the Council of Better Business Bureaus. But when it comes to the IRS policing problem preparers, "the lifeguard is asleep," complains Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)....Every April, Sen. Grassley calls IRS officials before the Finance Committee to grill them on taxpayer protection. He's increasingly concerned about unethical, unlicensed tax preparers and what he calls "sharks in the water.""http://www.smartmoney.com/10things/index.cfm?story=march2008-tax-preparers
February 2008: "He pointed to the Internal Revenue Service, where managers may receive smaller pay raises than rank-and-file employees, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, where an arbitrator found the pay system discriminated against African American employees and employees who were 40 and older."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/13/AR2008021303154.html
January 2008: "For same-sex couples, divorce can be financially ruinous. Heterosexual couples claim a tax deduction for alimony payments, but that benefit is not available to gay and lesbian spouses because the Internal Revenue Service does not recognize their marriages."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/01/AR2008010101734.html
December 2007: "But federal laws are unclear as to whether compensation for a wrongful conviction should be considered income and taxed, like punitive damages are, or if it should be treated as a personal-injury award, which is not subjected to taxes, an Internal Revenue Service spokesman said."http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/07/washington/07exonerated.html
December 2007: "Richard Spires, deputy I.R.S. commissioner, warns of a significant backlog in processing returns, as well as confusion for the taxpayer."http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/06/us/06tax.html
November 2007: The ministries, although far larger and more diversified than the average church, are classified by the Internal Revenue Service as churches and do not have to file the I.R.S. 990 forms required for other nonprofit organizations.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/us/07ministers.html
October 2007: In the 1960s, the I.R.S. ruled that a college could require students to work on political campaigns as part of a class assignment. But the agency did not address whether a nonprofit group could direct students to work on a specific campaign in the way the suit contends that Oral Roberts students were managed.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/11/education/11roberts.html
October 2007: When she sent in her tax claims after the surgery, the Internal Revenue Service initially issued the 64-year-old former Coast Guard reservist a refund check for $5,000. But soon after, she was audited and ordered to return the refund because the IRS had determined that her [sec change--Ed.] surgery had been merely 'cosmetic' -- and therefore not tax deductible.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/30/AR2007093001194.html
September 2007: A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked an order that the Internal Revenue Service be given the names of people who acquired materials from a Web site on how to defeat the tax laws.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/04/business/04tax.html
August 2007: The 1099 shortfall, as it is called, stems from an Internal Revenue Service policy that treats forgiven debt of all types as income even if the taxpayer has nothing tangible to show for it, unless the debt is canceled through bankruptcy.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/20/business/20taxes.html
August 2007: No one disputes that the Carry and its tax rate are supported by long legal precedent. The IRS accepts it not only for private-equity managers but also for managers of other kinds of partnerships that deal in capital assets, such as securities, commodities and real estate. Profits from the sale of those assets are almost always taxed as capital gains, a benefit designed to encourage risk-taking by money managers.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/02/AR2007080202620.html
June 2007: The move by the Internal Revenue Service came two days after International Business Machines said that it used the technique to avoid paying $1.6 billion in income taxes.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/business/07tax.html
April 2007: Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson said yesterday that the Internal Revenue Service would have a tough time wringing money out of the nation's tax cheats without imposing 'draconian' new burdens on honest taxpayers.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/18/AR2007041802359.html
April 2007: Twice in the last three weeks, the Internal Revenue Service commissioner, Mark W. Everson, has warned about confusion over the official Web site of his agency and commercial firms playing off that confusion.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/17/technology/17web.html
March 2007: The Internal Revenue Service is asking tax lawyers and accountants who create tax shelters and exploit loopholes to take the lead in writing some of its new tax rules.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/09/business/09tax.html
January 2007: Top officials at the Internal Revenue Service are pushing agents to prematurely close audits of big companies with agreements to have them pay only a fraction of the additional taxes that could be collected, according to dozens of I.R.S. employees who say that the policy is costing the government billions of dollars a year.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/12/business/12tax.html
July 2006: Maybe. But six years ago, the I.R.S. said that most of the taxable gifts it audited had shortchanged the government, and it pledged to hire more lawyers to audit big gifts.http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/27/opinion/27thu3.html
April 2006: Taxpayers who use the 'Free File' online tax return preparation services offered by private vendors in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service often are confronted by surprise fees, expensive add-ons, loan solicitations and other marketing pitches, an analysis by the Senate Finance Committee has found.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/13/AR2006041302043.html
March 2006: The IRS is quietly moving to loosen the once-inviolable privacy of federal income-tax returns. If it succeeds, accountants and other tax-return preparers will be able to sell information from individual returns - or even entire returns - to marketers and data brokers.http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/business/14147002.htm
January 2006: The Internal Revenue Service has concluded that more than 30 credit-counseling firms -- accounting for more than half of the industry's revenue -- are not entitled to tax-exempt status.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/12/AR2006011202085.html
January 2006: Tax refunds sought by 1.6 million poor Americans over the last five years were frozen and their returns labeled fraudulent, although the vast majority appear to have done nothing wrong, the Internal Revenue Service's taxpayer advocate told Congress yesterday.http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/11/business/11tax.html
November 2005: The Internal Revenue Service is examining the tax-exempt status of a liberal church in Southern California because its former pastor delivered a fiery antiwar sermon that criticized President Bush by name on the Sunday before the 2004 presidential election.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/18/AR2005111802501.html
March 2005: Everson acknowledged that the case did not move as quickly as he would have liked, in part because the IRS lost funds for criminal investigators in the 1990s. He said that "there is no doubt that the [tax] enforcement activities of the federal government did decline" in the wake of Senate Finance Committee hearings into charges of IRS misconduct in 1997 and 1998. He pointed to an increased emphasis on enforcement recently.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60329-2005Feb28.html
January 2002: The Internal Revenue Service plans to reinstate a limited version of a controversial research program in which thousands of randomly selected tax returns were audited intensively to try to measure overall compliance with the law.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58222-2002Jan16.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Opponent (past or present) Buyers Fund Organization May 25, 2006 Cooperation (past or present) Free File Alliance Organization May 20, 2006 Possible/Unclear Imagine Schools Organization Apr 24, 2010 Owned by (partial or full, past or present) Treasury Department/Department of the Treasury Organization Mar 4, 2005 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Donald C. Alexander Person Research/Analysis Subject Prof. David Burnham Person Aug 7, 2006 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Sheldon S. Cohen Esq. Person Feb 21, 2004 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Mark W. Everson Person Oct 25, 2003 Organization Executive (past or present) Donald L. Korb Esq. Person May 20, 2010 Research/Analysis Subject Prof. Susan B. Long Person Aug 7, 2006 Organization Executive (past or present) Nina E. Olson Esq. Person Jan 11, 2006 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Charles O. Rossotti Person Aug 28, 2006 Opponent (past or present) Aaron Russo Person Aug 1, 2006 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Douglas Shulman MPA, JD. Person Sep 7, 2009 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Stephen J. Small Esq. Person Aug 11, 2005 Opponent (past or present) Wesley Snipes Person Jan 25, 2008
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Dec 27, 2012 Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare
QUOTE: Craft store giant Hobby Lobby... opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion. Hobby Lobby and affiliate Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain, sued the federal government for violating their owners' religious freedom and ability to freely exercise their religion.
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 18, 2012 A Second Appeals Court Calls Marriage Law Unfair to Gays
QUOTE: A federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled on Thursday that the federal statute defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unlawfully discriminates against same-sex married couples by denying them equal federal benefits. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is the second federal appeals court to reject a central portion of the federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act...
New York Times Dec 18, 2011 Don’t Tax the Rich. Tax Inequality Itself. (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: we propose an automatic extra tax on the income of the top 1 percent of earners — a tax that would limit the after-tax incomes of this club to 36 times the median household income. Importantly, our Brandeis tax does not target excessive income per se; it only caps inequality....It is not a “claw back” tax. It merely assures that things don’t get worse.
New York Times Dec 13, 2011 I.R.S. Denied Lesbians Legitimate Adoption Credit
QUOTE: when several lesbians seeking to adopt a partner’s child received letters from the Internal Revenue Service that said they could not use the credit, they couldn’t help but wonder: Is the government choosing to recognize our unions only when it’s to the government’s benefit?
New York Times Aug 01, 2011 Death & Taxes & Identity Theft
QUOTE: National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson testified before the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight, suggesting the [Death Master File (DMF)] provides significant opportunities for identity thieves to commit tax fraud and should be limited.
Forbes Jul 25, 2011 A Bonanza for Airlines as Taxes End
QUOTE: the agency no longer had the authority to impose the various federal taxes that airlines add to the price of each ticket. So as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the federal government began losing an estimated $25 million a day in tax revenue. But did airlines simply pass on this savings to customers? No, they did not.
New York Times Jul 12, 2011 Rush to Defend Tax Rule on Inventory and Profits
QUOTE: the LIFO proposal — supported by the president’s deficit-reduction commission — would simplify the tax code and establish a standard method of calculating the cost of items that a company sells....at first glance the LIFO proposal looked like “an easy source of revenue.” But, he said, “it taxes illusory income, phantom profits that result from inflation.”
New York Times Jun 18, 2011 Lawyers and Accountants Once Put Integrity First
QUOTE: as our economy fitfully heals, it would be prudent to ask whether lawyers and accountants offer the same protection against corporate misconduct that they once did. Three or four decades ago, investors and regulators could rely on these professionals to provide a check on corporate risk-taking. But over time, attorneys and auditors came to see their practices not as independent firms that strengthen the integrity of capitalism, but as businesses measured chiefly by the earnings of their partners.
New York Times Apr 03, 2011 Bring Donors Out of the Shadows
QUOTE: The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t allow tax filers to write off their donations to politicians or parties, because that would mean Republicans would be subsidizing Democratic political efforts, and vice versa. So why should gifts that often seek the same outcomes through nonprofit organizations be treated differently?
New York Times Mar 11, 2011 Want to see how the government spends your tax money? Ask for a receipt.
QUOTE: But when it comes to the largest purchase a typical consumer makes in a given year — the amount he or she spends on federal taxes — there’s no detailed record of the transaction that comes with sending that check off to the IRS. The federal government should explain exactly where each person’s tax money goes. We need a taxpayer receipt.
Washington Post Jul 01, 2010 Change in IRS rules could block rewards for whistleblowers
QUOTE: When information from whistleblowers helps the IRS recover unpaid taxes, the informants are entitled to as much as 30 percent of the proceeds. However, the new manual explains that the tipster is out of luck if, instead of yielding a payment to the IRS, the tip stops a refund or reduces a credit.
Washington Post Jun 11, 2010 Confusion Over the Dormant Estate Tax Keeps Advisers Busy
QUOTE: THE disappearance of the federal estate tax this year has created confusion and frustration among the wealthy, even among those who stand to benefit from it.
New York Times May 19, 2010 Whistle-Blowers Become Investment Option for Hedge Funds
QUOTE: Informants who turn in tax cheats have to wait years to get their share of any reward from the I.R.S.’s recently expanded whistle-blower program. So hedge funds, private equity groups and other big investors...agreeing to buy a percentage of those future payouts in exchange for a smaller amount upfront to the whistle-blowers.
New York Times Apr 23, 2010 For Charter School Company, Issues of Money and Control
QUOTE: growing scrutiny from school boards and state regulators questioning how public money is spent and whether the company exerts too much control over the schools.... Imagine has elbowed the charter holders out of virtually all school decision making...
New York Times Apr 22, 2010 One-Fourth of Nonprofits Are to Lose Tax Breaks
QUOTE: The federal legislation passed in 2006 required all nonprofits to file tax forms the following year. Previously, only organizations with revenues of $25,000 or more — or the vast majority of nonprofit groups — had to file. The new law, embedded in the 393 pages of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, also directed the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax exemptions of groups that failed to file for three consecutive years.
New York Times Apr 08, 2010 IRS registration of tax-return preparers is long overdue
QUOTE: The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed guidelines in an effort to keep track of the estimated 1.2 million paid tax-return preparers....When the IRS issued its 2010 "dirty dozen" scams, tax-return preparation fraud topped the list.
Washington Post Apr 04, 2010 Charities boosted profits of Erickson retirement communities
QUOTE: His story shows how organizations certified as charities by the Internal Revenue Service -- in effect subsidized by the public -- can be used for private advantage. Today, Baltimore-based Erickson Retirement Communities (ERC) is in bankruptcy court.
Washington Post Feb 25, 2010 Fixing independent programmers' no-win scenario: A hostile business climate is stifling entrepreneurship in software development, and the U.S. economy pays the price
QUOTE: certain classes of workers, including anyone who engages as a "computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work," are considered de facto employees for tax purposes...The IRS can impose significant tax penalties on companies who hire such workers as contractors rather than full employees, a fact that can make it extremely difficult for self-employed programmers to find work.
InfoWorld Oct 22, 2009 Fraud Reported in Program to Help New Homebuyers
QUOTE: Just as Congressional leaders are calling for an extension of a popular $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, or even an expansion to all home purchasers, government investigators reported Thursday that their audits suggest widespread abuse and errors in the program.
New York Times Sep 11, 2009 Joe Wilson aftermath: Illegals get scrutiny in health reform: Current healthcare bills don’t explicitly mention how illegal immigrants would be treated under some important provisions.
QUOTE: Republicans in general charge that since none of the [healthcare] bills contain enforcement mechanisms to check that recipients of government subsidies are legal, illegal immigrants would be able to sneak into the system and get US cash [for healthcare subsidies] anyway.
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