Skip to comments.Confusion and Staff Troubles Rife at I.R.S. Office in Ohio
Posted on 05/19/2013 5:41:58 AM PDT by Pharmboy
During the summer of 2010, the dozen or so accountants and tax agents of Group 7822 of the Internal Revenue Service office in Cincinnati got a directive from their manager. A growing number of organizations identifying themselves as part of the Tea Party had begun applying for tax exemptions, the manager said, advising the workers to be on the lookout for them and other groups planning to get involved in elections.
I dont believe theres any such thing as rogue agents, said Bonnie Esrig, a former senior manager in the I.R.S. office in Cincinnati.
The specialists, hunched over laptops on the offices fourth floor, rarely discussed politics, one former supervisor said. Low-level employees in what many in the I.R.S. consider a backwater, they processed thousands of applications a year, mostly from charities like private schools or hospitals.
For months, the Tea Party cases sat on the desk of a lone specialist, who used political sounding criteria words like patriots, we the people as a way to search efficiently through the flood of applications for groups that might not quality for exemptions, according to the I.R.S. inspector general. Triage, the agencys acting chief described it.
As a grim-faced President Obama denounced the inexcusable actions of the I.R.S. last week and lawmakers of both parties lined up in Washington on Friday to accuse it of an array of misconduct, everything seemed so clear: the nations tax agency had deliberately targeted conservative activists, violating the public trust and perhaps the law.
While there are still many gaps in the story of how the I.R.S. scandal happened, interviews with current and former employees and with lawyers who dealt with them, along with a review of I.R.S. documents, paint a more muddled...alienated from the broader I.R.S. culture and given little direction.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Click through to read the last two paragraphs where an IRS Cincinnati worker gives a good quote saying, essentially, that she does not think this could have happened without DC direction. THAT should have been the lead.
And, they name the woman who was the "lone IRS agent."
BS Meter on overload.
Yeah, it’s such a non-scandal that the Obama Admin sat on it for months before the November election.
Ohio, my eye.
The White House ordered the illegal tax torture
Just because the NYT couldn’t see Stalin killing and starving the Ukranians or the rest of Russia for that matter, the Turks killing Armenians, or those pesky Jews in deathcamps doesn’t mean they are covering up the Fascist Obama Administration.
Then our side needs to shut down that office. Lets see the leftist pigs squeal.
Heh...just wait until the IRS starts managing Obamacare and see what happens then.
Given that it was imposed by constitutional amendment, one cannot argue that the income tax is unconstitutional per se. But certainly, it is at odds with the spirit, if not the letter, of many of our most basic constitutional rights.
Consider that the income tax system has the following attributes:
Notwithstanding our 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination, as well as our 9th Amendment right to privacy (see Roe v. Wade), the government requires us to provide a tax return signed under penalty of perjury, in which we are obligated to provide detailed testimony regarding every aspect of our financial activities and relationships, legal or otherwise.
Notwithstanding our 4th Amendment rights against search and seizure, any American citizen is subject at any time -- even in the complete absence of probable cause to an intrusive federal audit in which the government has the unmitigated right to demand and search our private papers and financial records.
Notwithstanding our 5th Amendment rights against seizure of our property without due process, the government can seize and hold our financial assets indefinitely without a trial.
The complexity of the Tax Code generally requires that Americans hire professional advice, often at significant expense, to help ensure compliance.
The Tax Code is so complex that its meaning is not always clear even to experts or employees of the federal government, and its enforcement may be subject to arbitrary interpretation by federal employees who may, in fact, disagree with each other.
The income tax requires citizens to bear the burden of preparing, maintaining, storing and recovering voluminous sets of records over a period of years, where such records otherwise have no useful purpose except to assist the government in enforcing the tax code against the citizen.
The Tax Code provides our federal legislators with a means of bestowing specifically targeted benefits on favored special interests.
Question 1: If Determinations was a dead end job, why would the dead enders care? They weren’t going anywhere. Grab the rubber stamp until Carpal Tunnel sets in. Question 2:
Could they have been planted in the “backwater” to do just what they did? Question 3: How many are still there vs how many have been promoted or transferred? Question 3: Why were some applications treated differently from other applications? Sounds like “Animal Farm”. Question 4:Who wrote the directive memo? Question 5: Does anyone remember the Brit eggheads at Bletchley Park? They were in a “backwater” as well but their contribution to winning WWII is inestimable. Conclusion: The IRS action was a civil Black Ops to do just what it did.
Here's my favorite quote from the article in reference to the Cincinnati IRS office staff: "Few if any of the employees were experts on tax law,..."
Not only does the Obama regime know nothing, they don't know about tax law at the IRS office. That should be a line from an Onion article.
Start with the low level worker and move up the food chain. Reading lists?
WHO CAME UP WITH THOSE LISTS OF QUESTIONS.?
Anyone who’d buy this story would also buy the NYT Sunday edition.
-——— The Specialists———
Translation: The apparatchiks
Outside the Cincinnati office on Thursday, employees on smoking breaks voiced many complaints. Pay freezes, mandatory furloughs and the effects of sequestration were all testing their already low morale. But the scandal, some said, had made things worse.
It's only a dream, but we should hope their morale gets low enough that they all quit! (They never will, of course.)
During the summer of 2010, the dozen or so accountants and tax agents of Group 7822 of the Internal Revenue Service office in Cincinnati got a directive from their manager. A growing number of organizations identifying themselves as part of the Tea Party had begun applying for tax exemptions, the manager said, advising the workers to be on the lookout for them and other groups planning to get involved in elections....Do they have editors over there?
...interviews with current and former employees and with lawyers who dealt with them, along with a review of I.R.S. documents, paint a more muddled picture of an understaffed Cincinnati outpost that was alienated from the broader I.R.S. culture and given little direction.
They were given a directive but little direction.
That sounds like a contradiction to me.
REPEALING THE 16TH AMENDMENT would be a great start to restoring our lost representative republic. Then start work on repealing all that followed with the exception of the twenty first.
Not even close, NYT. I'm supposed to pretend that two offices in CA and the main office in DC weren't doing exactly the same thing, with the same discriminatory criteria, to generate the same kinds of letters, at the same time.
This is nothing more than a NY Times “cover their asses” piece. Propaganda.
The more writers the Slimes uses on a story, the bigger the lie. By using three people, they are leading the reader to believe they did their due diligence.
Huh. Yet these procedures coincided with the presidential election.
The New York Times isn't bad, but Scotts toilet paper is a better value.
Get over yourselves...
Lemme get this straight -Obummer, the EXECUTIVE in charge of the EXECUTIVE BRANCH of Govt., takes no responsibility for Benghazi, IRS, SEAL crash etc., but a couple of years ago VOILA!
2010=President Barack Obama meeting with BP EXECUTIVES at the White House in June 2010 to discuss the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. On 1 October 2010, Bob ...
It's so easy, even a congressman could do it. So why aren't they?
Just imagine how the guy feels whose name appeared in question #26
It’s like the IRS Gestapo.
“The Times spinning as fast as it can in a front page news story in its Sunday edition”
Same pap on the front cover of the L.A Times this morning. I found exactly nothing on Fridays testimony in the Sat. edition. I guess they needed 24 hours to get their heads together with the NYT on what the spin would be.
Aint that the truth.
I like this sentence:For months, the Tea Party cases sat on the desk of a lone specialist, who used political sounding
One person did all of this? Bull -—I say Bull Big Daddy.
LOL...you forgot the barf alert!!
This quote from the article pathetically laughable:
“Not all conservative groups that got special scrutiny received follow-up requests for additional information. But some liberal groups did: Progress Texas, part of a national network of liberal advocacy groups, . . .”
Also amusing are many of the comments at the NYTs site.
The I.R.S. is pretty dysfunctional to begin with, and this case brought all those dysfunctions to their worst, said Paul Streckfus, a former I.R.S. employee who runs a newsletter devoted to tax-exempt organizations. People were coming and going, asking for advice and not getting it, and sometimes forgetting the cases existed.
The IRS is a monster and to entrust it with even more responsibilities and power is cutting our own throats.
Ah, yes. The IRS targeting political enemies was all just a matter of incompetence. You know, like Watergate was all just a big misunderstanding. Oh, wait! That’s not right. Nixon was a Republican. He was evil. Obama is just an incompetent boob and his IRS is just in chaos, not evil. I fell SO much better now that I understand the difference, especially when I realize that boob Obama’s chaotic, incompetent, not-evil IRS will be administering my health care plan. Don’t ya’ll feel better too, now?
I would like to know the racial demographics of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division. We already know the members of the National Treasury Employees Union overwhelmingly support the Democrat party in their political contributions. I surmise that the Cincinnati staffing includes disproportional numbers of Holder’s people. I doubt there was anyone in that culture who would voice an objection to the targeting that occurred even though it was blatantly obvious. Plus, they were being pressured by Democrat members of congress to do more of the targeting. Almost a perfect storm of governmental political corruption. The IRS is terrifying, but think of the targeting that may be occurring in the myriad of government agencies.
Hmmm, it’s not like Ohio was ground-zero in the last election or anything.
It’s just a coincidence./sarc
I find the Q & A contained in the letter dated April 26, 2012 between Steven Miller and Senator Orin Hatch (Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Finance) to be most interesting, and urge all readers here to click on the pdf file listed as footnote #46 in Wikipedia [whose subject title is "501(c) Organization".] Of particular significance to me is the nature of Senator Hatch's questions, written less to elicit clear, objective responses (which Mr. Miller does extremely well, given the semantic maze he must deal with in clearly explaining 501(c)(4)), than to complain - with some degree of subtlety, to be sure - that his Conservative social welfare organizations aren't being treated very well (i.e. given immediate tax-exempt status) by the IRS.
By means of the very last question (more a demand than a question)Senator Hatch gives himself away. Reading it was for me an "Aha!" moment, and I was happy to see Mr. Miller responding with a straight face.
I certainly hope Treasury officials will study the contents of this letter, and inquire what the nature, if any, of Senator Hatch's response was once he and his counsel had studied the detailed nature of Mr. Miller's replies to The Honorable's inquiries.
We can all learn much if we take a little time in reading this correspondence. Again, click on Wikipedia's footnote #46.
May 19, 2013 at 7:10 a.m.
Most interesting is this sentence in the letter to Mr. Hatch: http://www.finance.senate.gov/newsroom/ranking/download/?id=e67b4d42-c368-48fb-bc87-720f62c86ad4
"The applications are sent to unassigned inventory, where they are held until a revenue agent with the appropriate level of experience for the issues involved in the matter is available to further develop the case."
In other words, an appropriate ring of Dante's hell.
“The IRS is terrifying, but think of the targeting that may be occurring in the myriad of government agencies.”
Rush said it well last week. This is the true face of Liberalism on display, the natural outgrowth of its own culture of control.
The ultimate end, if unchecked, would be tyranny.
Thank God the agenda is being exposed.
I can believe one person was assigned to this. Government inefficiency at it’s best.
What I can’t believe is that management did not know this, condone it, and cover it up. It is the job of the supervisors to monitor this and I am sure they were aware of the problem and realized the “political advantage” of allowing the problem to fester.
If you want to screw someone in a bureaucracy you simply assign inadequate or incapable staff to the problem and the rules of bureaucracy will screw it up. Add in a few lawyers to “give additional guidance” and all of a sudden you have created the Department of Motor Vehicles. Simple - saw it many times in the military with the worst of the necessary offices staffed with civilians who didn’t care.
It’s still a scandal. One thing I will give the article credit for is recognizing the problem foisted upon it by congress. Congress is infamous for unintended consequences with legislation and this is a perfect example. The comments to this article really piss me off. The Tea Party used the same “social” crap that leftists organizations have used for years. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
The job of management in all businesses outside of government is to identify and address problems that are not customer friendly. IRS management failed. We will probably find out the “best and brightest” were not assigned to process these applications and someone in the chain understood the political ramifications of this and condoned it by not addressing the problem and that is the cancer that must be removed and prosecuted.
The worst thing about government is this simple fact - if I took 2 years to submit my taxes I could be jailed. If they took 2 years to process my taxes they can excuse it with bureaucracy. This is the real danger of big government and this case should illustrate to Americans capable of simple analysis why Obamacare will be such a disaster.
They should depose the employees and grill the managers because that is who is responsible. Having GS-15’s and SES career civil servants blaming GS-5’s and GS-7’s is ridiculous. The little people are drones and they are not in a position to understand the big picture management does.
The IRS scandal illustrates the power of a bureaucracy and the danger of putting partisans in charge. The days of career civil servants who act in a non-partisan manner are fading. Dangerous. Very dangerous.
"By January 2012, employees in Cincinnati, apparently without consulting senior officials, chose new keywords, including educating on the Constitution and social economic reform/movement. That month, the specialists in Cincinnati and elsewhere began sending out increasingly exhaustive, sometimes intrusive questionnaires."
So they are so overwhelmed with applications that they decide to expand the keyword search from tea-party and patriot to flag even more applications increasing the volume of applications they would ignore into a pile on a "lone" specialists' desk out in the backwater office?
Again, only new keywords that would target the right.
I think you are too trusting. They gave this to one agent because they wanted the Tea Party groups and other right-of-center groups to have to wait and wait and wait...
Boom there it is. Target the right.
For months, the Tea Party cases sat on the desk of a lone specialist, who used political sounding criteria words like patriots, we the people as a way to search efficiently through the flood of applications for groups that might not qualify for exemptions, according to the I.R.S. inspector general. Triage, the agencys acting chief described it.
Yeah, it was a triage to stop the Tea-Party and ANY other organizations that weren't leftist, union, or pro-Obama/Democrats.
That poor, poor LONE SPECIALIST hunched over his laptop who rarely discussed politics.
Do they let him out occasionally? It must be tough on this non-existent person searching for people using words like patriot and constitution. Oh the horror.
Maybe the could transfer the poor bloke to the section where they keyword applications for "social justice", "progressive", or "Kenyan-loving muslim brotherhood." I'm sure there is no backlog in that division.
This is equivalent to a referee in a boxing match pinning one boxers arms back and saying:
“Well, how else were we going to block his punches?”
Of course they ALL knew it from the top on down. They picked the keywords. It’s all self-evident.
KEYWORDS. End of story.
Don’t forget the intrusive questionnaires that—to my knowledge—none of the leftwing groups ever had to answer.
As opposed to this illegitimate enforcement?
And what of all the “special attention” and searches related to the word “occupy” that must have been flooding in around the same time?
They are so confused by direct deposit of large bonuses.
Yeah, it's such a non-scandal that the Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller and Lois Lerner, IRS director of tax exempt organizations, had to devise a scheme to plant a question in a Q and A session at an American Bar Association conference to release the news.
Did this inadequate or incapable staff also contact other government agencies to harass and intimidate? That lone specialist sure is a busy guy.
IRS wasnt only agency hassling True the Vote
Since filing for tax exemption as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2010, the founders of True the Vote, a Houston-based group that tries to prevent elections fraud, have been overwhelmed with scrutiny from a host of government agencies, in particular, by the Internal Revenue Service.
Catherine and Bryan Englebrecht have suffered through 18 separate encounters with five government agencies, from surprise audits to FBI visits to never-ending demands for paperwork.
The government has been scrutinizing True the Vote, the Engelbrechts tea party group, which is called King Street Patriots, and the familys oil services manufacturing business.
True the Vote spokesman Logan Churchwell sent Watchdog.org a timeline of the encounters, which include two unscheduled audits by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, six visits or phone calls by the Federal Bureau of Investigation looking for domestic terrorists, five rounds of questioning by the IRS over True the Votes application and one round over King Street Patriots application, both of which were filed in July 2010, and neither of which has been approved yet.