Saturday, January 07, 2006

Is the IRS now a political tool?

Yesterday we heard: IRS tracked taxpayers’ political affiliation

Today, we hear:

IRS accused of violating order

By Peter Lewis - Seattle Times staff reporter

The Internal Revenue Service has stopped providing detailed statistics to a tax expert, violating a court order she obtained 30 years ago, according to a motion filed in Seattle federal court.

Susan B. Long, a Syracuse University professor and co-director of a data-research group called Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), asserts that since 2004, the IRS has knowingly failed to comply with a 1976 consent decree that it admits it remains bound by. ...

... Long said the IRS' changed attitude toward compliance corresponds with a change at the top in 2003, when Mark W. Everson, then a deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, succeeded Charles O. Rossotti as IRS commissioner.

Commissioners serve five-year terms.

Long said Rossotti "believed in transparency" but with Everson at the helm, the agency "just started shutting down." ...

You've just got to wonder what's up with the IRS since Mark W. Everson took over. Remember just before the 2004 election when the IRS decided to investigate the NAACP? [The IRS vs. the NAACP] And yet, overt political speeches by rightwing Religious figures generated no similar investigations [ NAACP audit raises suspicion]

There's no proof of political skull duggery, so far. And yet, I smell a rat and we should all be watching what the IRS is up to.

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