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Jun 27, 2013

Watchdog defends review of IRS conservative scrutiny

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, facing criticism of his findings that tax authorities targeted Tea Party-linked groups for extra scrutiny, said his office did not find evidence that the term “progressives” also was used to single out groups.

As the IRS “Tea Party” controversy turned inward on itself, with investigators themselves under scrutiny, J. Russell George said in a letter to Democrats his office found the IRS did not scrutinize both conservative and progressive groups equally.

Jun 25, 2013

U.S. House Republican says IRS awarded ‘inappropriate’ contracts

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – A Virginia company
inappropriately secured contracts worth hundreds of millions of
dollars from the Internal Revenue Service based on false
statements and personal ties to an IRS official, the top
Republican investigator in the U.S. House of Representatives
said on Tuesday.

A report issued by Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Chairman Darrell Issa of California said the IRS, which is
embroiled in a series of unrelated controversies, awarded the
contracts to computer networking and security company Strong
Castle Inc.

Jun 25, 2013

House Republican says IRS awarded “inappropriate” contracts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Virginia company inappropriately secured hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts from the Internal Revenue Service based on false statements and personal ties to an IRS official, the top Republican investigator in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Tuesday.

A report issued by Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said the IRS, which is embroiled in a series of unrelated controversies, awarded the contracts to computer networking and security company Strong Castle Inc.

Jun 24, 2013

IRS junks “lookout” lists at heart of Tea Party fracas

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue
Service has scrapped controversial screening lists used by the
agency to scrutinize conservative and Tea Party groups seeking
tax-exempt status, while offering a speedier path for stalled
applications, the agency’s new chief said on Monday.

Use of the so-called “be on the lookout” lists (BOLO) using
partisan names like “Tea Party” and “Patriot” to flag
applications for more scrutiny were at the heart of a critical
report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax
Administration issued on May 14.

Jun 24, 2013

IRS scraps “be on the lookout” lists at heart of Tea Party fracas

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue
Service has scrapped controversial screening lists used by the
agency to scrutinize conservative and Tea Party groups seeking
tax-exempt status, while offering a speedier path for stalled
applications, the agency’s new chief said on Monday.

Use of the so-called “be on the lookout” lists (BOLO) using
partisan names like “Tea Party” and “Patriot” to flag
applications for more scrutiny were at the heart of a critical
report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax
Administration issued on May 14.

Jun 19, 2013

Tea Party rides IRS controversy to Washington rally

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 1,000 Tea Party activists protested in Washington on Wednesday over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Demonstrators on Capitol Hill waved signs denouncing taxes, immigration reform and gun control – staple issues for the conservative movement – in one of their largest gatherings since Democratic President Barack Obama was re-elected in November.

Jun 19, 2013

As Tea Party rallies, FBI says IRS probe a top priority

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than a dozen FBI agents are assigned to a criminal probe into Internal Revenue Service scrutiny of conservative political groups, FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Wednesday.

“It’s a high-priority investigation and it needs to be handled with care, but it also needs to be pushed aggressively,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing.

Jun 15, 2013

Threats made to figures at center of IRS controversy: sources

WASHINGTON/CINCINNATI (Reuters) – A current and a former top tax official have been physically threatened in recent weeks as the scandal over Internal Revenue Service targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups has gathered steam, people familiar with their situation say.

Ousted IRS acting commissioner, Steven Miller, has received such threats, according to a source familiar with his situation. The source declined to elaborate on the nature or the source of the threats.

Jun 10, 2013
via Tax Break

Essential reading: REIT status questioned by IRS, and more

Photo

Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines.

* IRS puts brakes on corporate push to capture real-estate tax break. A.D. Pruitt and Amol Sharma – The Wall Street Journal. The Internal Revenue Service is stepping up its scrutiny of companies that are looking to avoid some corporate taxes by converting their operations into real-estate investment trusts. Link  

* Obama urged to back plan to list owners of shell firms. Ravi Somaiya – The New York Times. Anticorruption activists have urged President Obama to back a plan to publicly register the owners of shell companies in the United States and around the world, a move they say is essential to thwart corrupt government officials, tax evaders and money launderers who rely on an opaque financial system. Link 

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.