I didn’t know the IRS Chief Counsel worked out of Cincinnati. The “nothing to see here” apologists for the IRS harassment of right-wing exempt organizations have always said that nothing wrong happened, and it was the work of rogue employees in the Cincinnati hinterlands anyway. Perhaps not. Tax Analysts reports ($link):
Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner directed a multilayered review of Tea Party groups’ exemption applications that reached all the way to the IRS chief counsel’s office and led to lengthy delays in processing the applications, according to testimony from an IRS attorney released July 17 by House committees investigating the matter.
Carter Hull, a “Washinton IRS tax law specialist,” says the IRS Chief Counsel’s office was involved:
Hull testified that at the August 2011 meeting, officials from the chief counsel’s office told him they needed updated information on the applications and suggested that a template letter be developed for future processing of applications. He said he told the officials that a template was impractical given the differences in the various applications.
Hull told investigators that in his 48 years working at the IRS, he had never been asked to send a case he was working to Lerner’s senior adviser or to the chief counsel’s office before he received the request to elevate the Tea Party cases.
Mr. Hull is scheduled to testify at Congressional hearings today. Nothing to see here, move along.
Wall Street Journal, The IRS Goes to Washington.
It’s OK, she’s a witch anyway. Failed Republican Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell may have been one of the candidates for political office whose tax records were breached, based on a Washington Times story. The report says Ms. O’Donnell has been contacted by the Treasury telling her that a Delaware state official improperly accessed her federal tax records. During her campaign for Senate, she was hit with a false federal tax lien on the day she announced her candidacy.
There has been no prosecution for the illegal access:
Treasury officials have refused to give Mr. Grassley any specifics on the cases or to describe the disposition of Ms. O’Donnell’s case, claiming even people who improperly access tax records have an assumption of privacy under federal tax laws.
Clive reconsidering its revenue camera auto-dealer tax. The Des Moines Register reports that the future of the Des Moines suburb’s contract with red-light camera operator Redflex is in doubt, now that City Councilman Michael McCoy has joined another member of the five-person council in opposing the cameras.
Most of the cameras are along a strip of Hickman Road that has some car dealerships. Guess what happens?
McCoy said businesses have raised concerns about the program to him. He said car dealerships are incurring fees when customers test drive their vehicles — the program mails tickets based on license plates. “That doesn’t seem like a way to be business friendly and invite new business into our community,” McCoy said.
But what good are customers if the local municipality can’t pick their pockets?
Tax Justice Blog, Are Special Tax Breaks Worthwhile? Rhode Island Intends to Find Out:
Rhode Island is about to put seventeen of its “economic development” tax breaks under the microscope, thanks to a new law (PDF) signed by Governor Chafee last week. This reform is a welcome step forward in a national landscape where states often do nothing at all to figure out whether narrow tax breaks are really helping their economies.
After Iowa’s film tax program collapsed in disgrace and scandal, a blue ribbon commission was unable to identify any definite benefit to Iowa’s dozens of targeted corporate welfare tax breaks. Yet Iowa continues to pass them out like Tootsie Rolls at a parade.
Cara Griffith, Break Out the Champagne (Tax Analysts Blog). State revenues are up.
Jack Townsend, Interview of Swiss Bank Whistleblower
Me: Long live the Queen! 21 years for the “Queen of IRS Tax Fraud”
Mitch Maahs, Deducting Job Search Expenses (Davis Brown Tax Law Blog)
William Perez, Same-Sex Spouses and Small Business: What’s Changed?
‘Merica! U.S. Tax System Ranks 94th in the World (Andrew Lundeen, Tax Policy Blog)
Career Corner. If All Else Fails, You Can Still Become an Internal Auditor (Going Concern)
News you can use. Get Ready To Shop: State Sales Tax Holidays Are Back! (TaxGrrrl)
Reports: he’s not happy any more. Reports: Happy’s Pizza founder, others indicted for fraud, tax evasion (theoaklandpress.com)