Scandal, Scandal, Scandal

... So, does the IRS's latest debacle rise to the level of scandal? I don't know yet; here's what I see so far. Among the many ridiculous tasks our politicians pile on the tax collector, the agency has been charged with determining whether political organizations applying for 501(c)(4) status are too political and to do that without getting political. Sounds like a winner to me. Last Friday [May 10th], the IRS admitted it failed in performing that task. What a surprise.

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It's not hard to predict where this will end up. The IRS workforce, the majority of which are hard-working government servants who do their jobs with integrity, will be demoralized and fear-stricken. We've seen it before. And a passive, scared tax enforcement agency i[s] not an effective tax enforcement agency.

The public's confidence in the nation's tax collector will be shaken in part because there will be no political leadership here beyond the posturing. That's not really good for a system that relies largely on self-assessment - what some call voluntary compliance. Now, you tell me, please, where's the scandal? There will be plenty to go around.

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View Chris Bergin's opinion in its entirety on the taxanalysts® Blog.

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