Tax Roundup, 7/8/2013: Did IRS scandals stop employer mandate? And full-service postal service.

July 8th, 2013 by Joe Kristan
The tax law - The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife of public policy.  Flickr Image courtesy redjar under Creative Commons license.

The tax law – The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife of public policy. Flickr Image courtesy redjar under Creative Commons license.

Kay Bell, Did IRS troubles play a role in delay of Obamacare penalty?

During hearings into the various tax agency missteps, it routinely was noted by IRS and Obamacare haters that Sarah Hall Ingram, the employee who now runs the IRS office responsible for implementing ACA, was in charge of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012.

It was during that period that some groups were put on be on the lookout, or BOLO, lists and their 501(c)(4) applications for tax-exempt status were subject to additional scrutiny.

Such a connection, GOP critics contend, raises doubt as to how fairly and efficiently the IRS can do its health-care policing job.

Gee, how could they ever get that idea?

While it is true that the IRS mistreated right-side groups far worse than left-siders, having the IRS run Obamacare would be a bad idea even if the IRS were run by angels.  The tax law and tax agency are supposed to collect revenue to fund the government.  It does poorly at other things.    Like a Swiss Army knife, if you add too many functions, it stops being good at being a knife.

TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 60.


The postman always files twice – once for him, once for you.  From a Justice Department press release:

According to the evidence presented at the trial, Harrison was a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier who was part of a stolen identity refund fraud conspiracy.  Members of the conspiracy used stolen identities to file false tax returns from various locations, including houses and hotels around Birmingham, Ala. and Montgomery.  They then had the fraudulently obtained tax refunds generated by those returns sent to debit cards which were subsequently mailed to addresses on Harrison’s postal route in Montgomery.  In exchange for cash, Harrison stole the debit cards from the mail and provided them to a co-conspirator.  Harrison stole, at a minimum, over 100 debit cards from the mail for his co-conspirators.

It’s a good thing criminals don’t seem to be very smart.  These folks aren’t exactly Dr. Moriarty, but they are getting $5 billion or so from the IRS in stolen refunds annually.  You wonder how much somebody who was a little bit smart would be able to steal.


Joseph Henchman,  Which States are Best for Small Businesses?

The Kauffman Foundation and teamed up a few weeks ago to produce their second annual Small Business Friendliness Survey, ranking the 50 states on the ease of starting a small business, the ease of hiring, health and labor regulations, taxes, licensing, environmental laws, zoning, and training programs. The study draws upon surveys from 7,000 small business owners.

The finding? Utah is the top-rated state and Austin, TX the top-rated city. At the other end were Rhode Island and Newark, NJ.

Iowa gets a “B-”


Jason Dinesen,  Yes, Enrolled Agents Do Need More Respect: “The EA designation has existed since 1884. Why are we still fighting for respect after 129 years?”

TaxGrrrl, Extreme Weather Serves Up Important Reminders To Taxpayers. “Floods and other disasters are a good reminder that tax and important papers should always be stored in a safe place.”



Tax reform road trip.  Max & Dave’s Excellent Tax Reform Adventure Kicks Off Today in Minneapolis (TaxProf)

Jack Townsend, Swiss Prepared to Interpret Exchange of Information Treaty Requests More Leniently; Credit Suisse to Deliver Information

Robert D. Flach, THE DFBs!  Struggling to get state refunds in New Jersey.


Peter Reilly has finished his personal battle of Gettysburg:  Walking In Armistead’s Footsteps 150 Years Later – Gettysburg Day 3 – Pickett’s Charge and Pickett’s Charge 150 – Aftermath.

Unless they are in the movies?.  No More Tax Credits for Strip Clubs in California (Russ Fox)



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