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IRS subjected to criminal investigations

Massachusetts residents may be interested in a recent IRS criminal probe, which followed allegations that the agency unfairly targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. The IRS admitted that its employees used names containing phrases like "patriot" and "tea party" to decide whether or not to force specific organizations to undergo extra reviews. The White House and the Attorney General's office have since condemned these practices.

Although IRS members claimed that these search terms were used to help workers accurately filter out and process new political organizations, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration shut these claims down as being invalid. The Inspector General's report stated that although the IRS's actions were not politically motivated, they still revealed flaws in the proper execution of tax legislation. At this point, it is unknown whether or not any individuals or organizations involved in tax collection cases were negatively affected by these questionable practices.

The watchdog report that examined these issues within the IRS also noted that many of its staff were unfamiliar with tax code and its proper application. Tax and bankruptcy proceedings rely on public officials who uphold the laws correctly, and this case raises the question whether those who have been subject to recent tax litigation were unjustly targeted.

Taxpayers can easily fall on the wrong side of bureaucratic errors and misuse of authority. Tax lawyers are often called on to help these victims navigate through court and retain control over their assets in the face of potentially illegitimate, expensive collection efforts. Source: WP Politics, "IG report: 'Inappropriate criteria' stalled IRS approvals of conservative groups," Juliet Eilperin and Zachary A. Goldfarb, 05/14/2013

Source: WP Politics, "IG report: ‘Inappropriate criteria’ stalled IRS approvals of conservative groups", Juliet Eilperin and Zachary A. Goldfarb, May 14, 2013

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