Any taxpayer who has had the unfortunate experience of dealing with the IRS can attest to the fact that there is double standard in Washington.
If you work for the IRS, and don’t pay your income taxes – what do you get? A big fat bonus.
See LA Times article at http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-irs-bonuses-20140424-story.html
If you don’t work for the IRS, and don’t pay your income taxes – what do you get? A sentence to a federal prison. See some of the cases the IRS publicizes at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Examples-of-Nonfiler-Investigations-Fiscal-Year-2014
If you work for the IRS, you can refuse to answer questions before a U.S. House Committee about your work and possible criminal activities asserting your right against self-incrimination – what do you get? A big fat retirement check each month. See article at http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/melanie-hunter/lois-lerner-pleads-fifth-again-house-hearing-irs-scandal
If you don’t work for the IRS, and agents ask you about your failure to report income, and you refuse to answer – What do you get? A sentence to federal prison.
If you work for the IRS, and don’t want incriminating emails released when requested by a Congressional Committee, you say your computer crashed! What do you get? A big fat retirement check each month? See article at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/06/17/lost-irs-emails-get-real-team-obama-were-not-that-gullible/
You’re audited by the IRS, and tell them your computer crashed and you lost all of your records – What do you get? A sentence to federal prison.
And finally, if you’re the IRS Commissioner, and a U.S. House Committee asks you if you owe the American people an apology for the conduct of the IRS – You refuse to apologize since you know that it’s part of the code of conduct of the IRS. You never apologize no matter how much damage you have done to an honest taxpayer. I guess that means if your are the IRS, you can do what every you want – damn Congress and the citizens of this country. So sad, but true.
Lois Lerner while appearing before a congressional committee for the second time again refused to talk asserting her right against self-incrimination (5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution).
It’s not that Ms. Lerner should not have this right, but is particularly disgusting that she works for an agency before which the average taxpayer has few real rights much less the right against self-incrimination. Every time you sign and file a tax return you could be subjecting yourself to criminal prosecution! Write across the return that you are asserting your 5th Amendment right to refuse to answer – surprise you go to jail!
How do we reward IRS employees who may have been part of a criminal conspiracy (targeting political groups)? Only in America – we let them retire with a generous Federal pension – speculated to be over $100,000 per year!
Enough said – we all must get back to work and pay our taxes so Lois Lerner and her friends can enjoy the benefits of living in a democracy!
Oh by the way, if you are ever questioned by the IRS, tell them you are asserting your Lois Lerner Rights! I’m sure the agent will understand as you are carted off to jail.
A taxpayer undergoing an audit at an Internal Revenue Service office on Long Island successfully sued the IRS for $862,000 after he was injured by tripping over a phone cord. The taxpayer claimed in his lawsuit that he could not enjoy activities from golf to sex after he fell during a 2008 audit at an IRS office in Hauppauge, N.Y., according to the New York Post. He had visited the offices to work out a payment agreement for a $60,000 tax bill when he tripped on the phone cord. He then spent 17 days in hospitals and rehabilitation centers recovering from his injury. Attorneys for the IRS claimed he was exaggerating his injury, but the judge awarded him $862,000 for pain and suffering. He won’t have to pay taxes on the damages either.
The moral of this story – Don’t let an IRS agent come to your office. If the agent comes to your office, then you will not only end up paying your tax bill, but damages to the agent who falls in your office on a pile of your tax records stacked on your floor!
Read the judge’s decision at http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nyedce/2:2010cv03888/308197/57/0.pdf?1388754242
In Phillips v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2013-215, the Tax Court rejected a taxpayer’s attempt to deduct expenses relating to bowling tournaments. The court noted that, although the taxpayer did win bowling tournaments in 2000 and 2003, by 2008 he had not won a tournament in three years and, despite this long losing streak, the taxpayer had done nothing to change his approach to the game. The fact that the taxpayer did not hire a coach, conduct additional research, or attempt to change his technique indicated to the court that he did not carry on his bowling activities in a businesslike manner. To make matters worse the taxpayer in his testimony could not identify a single tournament in which he had participated in 2008. Does this case mean that if you try hard and lose you can deduct your expenses, but if you lose and don’t really seem to try hard, you cannot deduct your expenses. Perhaps the old phrase “an A for effort applies.” (If you don’t know it, the building pictured is the IRS Headquarters in Washinington)
The Tax Court disallowed charitable deductions for clothing valued at $9,500 by the taxpayers because they did not obtain qualified appraisals for the contributed property. The taxpayer said that while they could not definitively identify the various persons whose initials appeared on the appraisals submitted as evidence, they assumed the appraisers were volunteer employees of the thrift shop. The court said that the regulations preclude the charity or an employee of the charity from serving as a qualified appraiser.
See Haskett v. Comm’r, T.C. Summary 2013-76 (9/26/13)
The above is a recent notice on an IRS website – translated this means:
We have spent billions on our computers, but they still do not work. We recommend that if you wish to get through to us that you contact us between 1 and 3 am. Our agents will be sleeping at that time, but will review your message during normal working hours. Please avoid any profanity when leaving messages since we have computer programs written by the National Security Agency that automatically delete messages containing profanity or obscene gestures. These deleted messages are then forwarded to the appropriate governmental agency for further action. And frankly we don’t give a damn if this inconveniences you. Remember we non-essential employees have had to go to back work and deal with people like you which we find rather inconvenient.
Taxpayer testified that she ran Joyce’s Tax Service from her home and that clients would come to her home to have their tax returns prepared. The taxpayer testified that living in her neighborhood was stressful and that she felt harassed by her clients who would call her at home at any hour. For these reasons taxpayer contends that it was necessary for her to travel “just to get rest so that * * * [she] could function.” She provided invoices from a Holiday Inn, a car rental service, and a casino.
Surprise! The Tax Court found that taxpayer’s travel for a good night’s rest was a personal expense, not a deductible business expense.
The IRS States:
Due to the current lapse in appropriations, IRS operations are limited. However, the underlying tax law remains in effect, and all taxpayers should continue to meet their tax obligations as normal.
Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as they are required to do so by law. The IRS will accept and process all tax returns with payments, but will be unable to issue refunds during this time. Taxpayers are urged to file electronically, because most of these returns will be processed automatically.
No live telephone customer service assistance will be available, however most automated toll-free telephone applications will remain operational. IRS walk-in taxpayer assistance centers will be closed.
Explanation in Bureaucratic Terms:
IRS employees dealing with refunds are “non-essential employees” and those taking your money are “essential employees.”