Kim's Feed
Jun 9, 2013

Republican IRS agent says Cincinnati began ‘Tea Party’ inquiries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Internal Revenue Service manager, who described himself as a conservative Republican, told congressional investigators that he and a local colleague decided to give conservative groups the extra scrutiny that has prompted weeks of political controversy.

In an official interview transcript released on Sunday by Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, the manager said he and an underling set aside “Tea Party” and “patriot” groups that had applied for tax-exempt status because the organizations appeared to pose a new precedent that could affect future IRS filings.

Jun 7, 2013

IRS, under political fire, must help overhaul U.S. healthcare

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue
Service, under political fire and distracted by leadership
changes, faces a big job and tight deadlines in months ahead as
one of the main federal agencies implementing President Barack
Obama’s new healthcare law.

More than 40 tax code changes were part of 2010′s Affordable
Care Act (ACA), the president’s signature domestic policy
achievement. Some changes are already in place, but several take
effect in January 2014 and the IRS is still figuring them out.

Jun 7, 2013

Misfired 2010 email alerted IRS officials in Washington of targeting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A misfired email from a U.S. Internal Revenue Service employee in Cincinnati alerted a number of Washington IRS officials that extra scrutiny was being place on conservative groups in July 2010, a year earlier than previously acknowledged, according to interviews with IRS workers by congressional investigators.

Transcripts of the interviews, reviewed by Reuters on Thursday, provided new details about Washington managers’ awareness of the heightened scrutiny applied by front-line IRS agents in Cincinnati to applications for tax-exempt status from conservative groups with words like “Tea Party” in their names.

Jun 6, 2013

IRS official in Star Trek spoof apologizes for lavish conference

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top official at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Thursday acknowledged that it was “embarrassing” how much the tax agency spent on training videos, including a Star Trek spoof, and other lavish expenses during a 2010 conference in California.

Faris Fink, commissioner of the agency’s small business and self-employed division, told lawmakers the videos, which cost more than $50,000 to produce, were well-intentioned but in hindsight inappropriate.

Jun 5, 2013

IRS suspends two employees for taking conference gifts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has suspended two employees – including one working on President Barack Obama’s healthcare initiative – for improperly accepting gifts at an agency conference, two congressional staff members briefed on the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The tax-collecting agency – already battling a political scandal and accusations of lavish spending – has begun a process to remove the two employees for violating ethics rules pending a review, the IRS said.

Jun 5, 2013

IRS puts two employees on leave for taking conference gifts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service, already battling political scandal and accusations of lavish spending, has put two employees on administrative leave for accepting gifts of food and other items at an agency conference, according to two congressional staff members briefed on the matter.

Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said in a statement: “There was clearly inappropriate behavior involved in this situation, and immediate action is needed.”

Jun 4, 2013

Watchdog faults IRS over Star Trek video, conference

By Kim Dixon and Kevin Drawbaugh

(Reuters) – A spoof Star Trek video and lavish hotel suites for government workers were singled out on Tuesday by a government watchdog in criticizing the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s conference planning and budgeting from 2010 through 2012.

In a report that the IRS has already acknowledged as pointing out “inappropriate” spending, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) faulted the agency specifically for a 2010 conference in Anaheim, California, that cost $4.1 million.

Jun 4, 2013

Tea Party groups emotionally describe harassment by IRS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tea Party and other conservative groups delivered an emotional plea for Washington to rein in government overreach on Tuesday as they told lawmakers about how the Internal Revenue Service targeted them with relentless paperwork and intrusive questions when they sought tax-exempt status.

The House Ways and Means Committee invited a collection of groups to speak about their experiences as details continue to emerge about how and why IRS officials in a Cincinnati, Ohio, field office began targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

Jun 4, 2013

Congressman Issa reprising familiar role in IRS probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – What began as a bipartisan congressional probe into Internal Revenue Service practices is quickly turning into a verbal brawl with U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, no stranger to controversy, under attack from Democrats and even some of his fellow Republicans.

Issa, the California congressman who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Sunday said in a CNN interview that the IRS’s scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status was “directly being ordered from Washington.”

Jun 4, 2013

U.S. congressman Issa reprising familiar role in IRS probe

WASHINGTON, June 3 (Reuters) – What began as a bipartisan
congressional probe into Internal Revenue Service practices is
quickly turning into a verbal brawl with U.S. Representative
Darrell Issa, no stranger to controversy, under attack from
Democrats and even some of his fellow Republicans.

Issa, the California congressman who chairs the House
Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Sunday said in a
CNN interview that the IRS’s scrutiny of conservative groups
seeking tax-exempt status was “directly being ordered from
Washington.”