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    Mother Jones illustration; Getty Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.It was inevitable, after the Senate’s recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), that the IRS would come under renewed attack. Republicans loathe taxes and the IRS is an easy target. Nobody likes it much, after all. But somebody has to make sure Americans pay their fair share, or else we end up like Greece. The IRA legislation, as it stands, delivers the strapped IRS nearly $80 billion in new funding over 10 years, of which $45.6 billion is earmarked for enforcement—hiring more agents, bolstering legal capabilities, and improving “investigative technology.” According to the Congressional Research Service, these funds may also be used to “monitor and enforce taxes on digital assets such as cryptocurrency.” The CRS estimates (loosely) that the beefed-up enforcement will result in an additional $204 billion in tax revenues. (The administration has estimated that closing up the “tax gap” between what is owed and what is collected would net the treasury up to $700 billion.) And...
    Tucker Carlson Tonight fill-in host Brian Kilmeade on Thursday engaged in some blatant fear-mongering regarding one of the components of the Inflation Reduction Act, warning that an increase in funding to the IRS would translate to government agents “hunt[ing] down and kill[ing]” modest earning Americans who don’t pay the required amount. The legislation, which passed the Senate over the weekend and now awaits a vote in the House, would allocate $80 billion to the IRS for hiring more agents, improving technology, and for enforcement, including of tax payments on cryptocurrencies. Republicans reacted to its passage in the upper chamber by making misleading and false claims. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), for instance, said that 70,000 agents will be armed because of it, when in fact the number of armed agents was just over 2,000 last year, according to an Associated Press fact check. Kilmeade, like Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX), invoked militaristic imagery to describe the IRS workforce, calling it an “army” of President Biden. “Before the IRS took it down yesterday, there was a posting...
    Live from Music Row, Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Patrick Hedger, executive director of the Taxpayer Protection Alliance, to the newsmaker line to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act and the hiring of 87,000 IRS agents. Leahy: We’re joined now on the newsmaker line by Patrick Hedger, the executive director of the Taxpayer Protection Alliance. We want to talk about this awful bill, the Inflation Reduction Act that’s going to add 87,000 new IRS agents. Good morning, Patrick. Hedger: Hey, good morning. How are you? Leahy: Well, I’ve been better. Simon: Indeed! Can you protect us? Leahy: Yeah, really? I saw that some spokesman for the IRS said, yeah, we’re adding 87,000 new agents, but we’re not going to be auditing people more. Now, I don’t believe that. Simon: You should just call it what it really is going to be – an army. Leahy: What is going on with this, Patrick? Hedger: Yes, absolutely. And I...
    "The IRS has for too long been unable to pursue meaningful, impactful examinations of large corporate and high-networth taxpayers to ensure they are paying their fair share," Rettig wrote. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the IRS would bring in $203.7 billion in revenue over the next decade. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo (R) released a statement on Sunday speaking out against his colleagues. He explained that the funding boost would not be used only to target millionaires and billionaires but would also impact taxpayers making below $400,000. "Otherwise, why would the legislative text say the funding isn't intended to target taxpayers below that threshold? My colleagues and Americans know the real answer: small business owners, cash-heavy businesses and those who can't afford legal teams are easy targets for the new IRS agents and their audits," Sen. Crapo stated. Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) shared a similar sentiment. He said, "They're not being created to audit billionaires or giant corporations. They're being created to audit you. The House Ways and Means Committee, the minority, has put out an...
    Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Numerous conservatives took to Twitter on Wednesday to raise alarm over an IRS job posting seeking an agent who would carry a firearm and “use deadly force if necessary.” The link to the job posting is “temporarily unavailable,” a message informs anyone who clicks it. Numerous screenshots were taken, however, and the page was saved in the Wayback Machine. “The IRS is hiring new special agents! Requirements include working min ’50 hours per week, which may include irregular hours, and be on-call 24/7, including holidays and weekends” and “Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary,'” News2Share editor-in-chief Ford Fischer originally tweeted. The IRS is hiring new special agents! Requirements include working min “50 hours per week, which may include irregular hours, and be on-call 24/7, including holidays and weekends” and “Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.”https://t.co/uvwbrAkIit pic.twitter.com/z0aVX6uoMr — Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) August 10, 2022 The recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act includes almost $80 billion in funding for the IRS, though officials say the new funding and...
    Following the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Republican lawmakers are reportedly looking to shift the focus from the relentless Trump-centric news cycle. According to HuffPost, Republicans are responding to the search on Trump's property by criticizing an unrelated topic: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Per the news outlet, Republican lawmakers are "desperate to change the subject to something else ― anything else" and are now focused on "pushing an extremely weird and false talking point: Tens of thousands of tax collectors are coming for you." On Monday, August 8, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) shared his reaction via Twitter as he pivoted to concerns about the IRS. “The FBI raiding Donald Trump is unprecedented,” he tweeted. “The Biden Admin has fully weaponized DOJ & FBI to target their political enemies. And with 87K new IRS agents, they’re coming for YOU too.” READ MORE: House Republicans visited Trump after FBI raid to urge him to announce run for president Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) also tweeted his complaints about the United States justice system...
    White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre promised there will be no new IRS audits on anyone making less than $400,000 once the agency hires 87,000 new agents.  'Who around here decided that Americans were crying out for more interaction with the IRS'?' Fox News' Peter Doocy asked the press secretary.  'I don' understand your question,' the press secretary responded.  The reporter pointed to a provision of the Senate-passed Inflation Reduction Act which would dedicate $80 billion to the IRS to hire 87,000 new IRS agents.  Jean-Pierre reiterated claims from IRS chief Charles Rettig, who said that audit rates would not rise for households making under $400,000.  'So no new audits for anyone making under $400,000?' Doocy asked. 'No. Very clear - no,' Jean-Pierre replied.  According to the Congressional Budget Office the beefed-up enforcement would bring in net $127 billion over 10 years to help offset costs in the $700 billion inflation Reduction Act.   White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre promised there will be no new IRS audits on anyone making less than $400,000 once the agency hires 87,000 new agents...
    Jeffrey Coolidge | Photodisc | Getty Images As the Democrats' spending plan moves closer to a House vote, one of the more controversial provisions — nearly $80 billion in IRS funding, with $45.6 billion for "enforcement" — has raised questions about who the agency may target for audits. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said these resources are "absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans," in a recent letter to the Senate. However, with the investment projected to bring in $203.7 billion in revenue from 2022 to 2031, according to the Congressional Budget Office, opponents say IRS enforcement may affect everyday Americans. More from Personal Finance:Inflation Reduction Act aims to trim insulin costs for Medicare usersExpanded health care subsidies remain intact in Inflation Reduction ActReconciliation bill includes nearly $80 billion for IRS including 'enforcement' "Our biggest worry in this is that the burden for these audits will land on Walmart shoppers," Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said Tuesday on CNBC's "Squawk Box." Overall, IRS audits plunged by 44% between fiscal years 2015 and 2019, according to a 2021...
    Trump. hanging out in Palm Beach in December 2020. Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.The dust had hardly settled from the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago on Monday when a thunderous chorus of Republican lawmakers, rabid Trump zealots, two prominent Andrews, and pundits of all stripes weighed in on the extraordinary search at former president Donald Trump’s Palm Beach home. So far, the appraisals have been varied. But they tend to share a common identity of extremely amped up. Conspiratorial. And ready for battle. Let’s take a tour of some of their strangest responses. “This is some third-world bullshit.” “This is some third world bullshit” pic.twitter.com/1orUanPiAD — Acyn (@Acyn) August 8, 2022 When street crimes go unsolved but opposition leaders are hounded by federal police, you’re living in a third world country — Blake Masters (@bgmasters) August 9, 2022 You’re next. If the FBI can raid a U.S. President, imagine what they can do to you. — Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) August 9, 2022 Biden is weaponizing...
    Republican elected officials reacted with distain, anger, and bemusement in the wake of the U.S. Senate’s narrow passage of the Democrat-backed $740 billion “Inflation Reduction Act.” Many Arizona Republican lawmakers are among those claiming the bill will further impact inflation in a negative way while offering no real-time solution for struggling Americans. The Inflation Reduction Act, described by Forbes as “a slimmed-down version of the Build Back Better bill,” allows the government to control the price of prescription medications, contains funding for fighting climate change, would implement larger taxes for wealthy corporations, and issue the hiring of more IRS agents, among other items. Democrats have claimed the bill will tackle the 40-year-high inflation the country is facing; however, Republicans are saying the bill will further aggravate inflation. However, Dr. Kelli Ward, former state senator and current Arizona GOP chairwoman, targeted the bill’s content regarding the “IRS expansion plan” by posting a Twitter poll asking respondents, “Which part of Democrat @CaptMarkKelly’s IRS expansion plan are you most excited about?” with the option of choosing four answers: higher taxes for all, 87K+...
    A CPA from Passaic County admitted trying to hide $150,000 from the taxman with a little help from a friend. His unidentified pal compensated William Kawam, 57, of Hewitt, for his accounting services by giving him a credit card belonging to one of the friend’s businesses, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said. Kawam racked up $146,605 in charges from 2015 through 2017 that neither he nor his friend reported, Sellinger said. The scheme shortchanged the Internal Revenue Service by $54,400, he said. Kawam, a former partner at SKC & Co. LLC in Boonton, took a deal from the government rather than risk trial, pleading guilty to subscribing to false tax returns and conspiracy to defraud the United States during a videoconference. U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo scheduled sentencing for Nov. 21 in Newark. Sellinger credited special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation and special agents of the FBI with the investigation leading to the guilty plea secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
    BOSTON (CBS) — The IRS confirmed to WBZ-TV that agents were conducting “official business” at Red’s Kitchen and Tavern on US 1 in Peabody Thursday morning. By noon, the restaurant was open again. The parking lot was filled with customers. There are still no details as to why they were there.
    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reportedly has “no records” on a previous proposal to increase funding to add more agents and expand its authority over U.S. bank accounts with more than $600 a year in transactions. Conservatives readied their battle stations in 2021 when President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan included a provision to require banks to give information to the IRS on accounts with $600 or more in annual transactions. The policy would have also applied to peer-to-peer apps like Venmo, CashApp, and Zelle. At the time, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the proposal would close a $7 trillion tax gap over the next decade. “The proposal involves no reporting of individual transactions of any individual,” Yellen told CBS News. “The big picture is, look, we have a tax gap that over the next decade is estimated at $7 trillion. Namely, a shortfall in the amount the IRS is collecting due to a failure of individuals to report the income that they have earned.” Joe Biden speaks on the third plank of his Build Back Better economic recovery plan...
    Q: We sold an inherited Bay Area rental property to exchange it for a small building out of state. We bought the small apartment building while visiting family. It has an owner unit for our eventual retirement and is within walking distance to the downtown. We purchased the building with cash, expecting to reimburse our retirement savings when selling the Bay Area rental house. We understood that we could transfer the equity from the Bay Area rental house into the apartment building and defer paying taxes under the 1031 IRS tax code. No one mentioned that owning both properties in our names simultaneously might void the 1031 IRS tax code. The realty agents only promoted the reverse 1031 IRS tax code exchange concept of buying the replacement property first. The seller’s agent for the rental house said she would seek out a firm specializing in 1031 IRS code tax exchanges. We opened an escrow account, listed the property and on day one received an all-cash, over-list price offer with a five-day settlement sale. We never spoke with the escrow officers...
    On Monday’s broadcast of “Fox News Primetime,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated that all but one House Democrat “voted for the 87,000 IRS agents to spy on you. They voted to open the border and make people legal citizens when they came here illegally” by voting for the Build Back Better reconciliation bill. McCarthy said, “Democrats made a fatal mistake, and Nancy Pelosi made a fatal mistake. Remember, they all said they wouldn’t pass a bill in the House until it already had been conferenced in the Senate and make sure it passed the Senate. She had all her Democrats, and there were no Joe Manchins over there that would stand up, only one would. And now they have voted for the 87,000 IRS agents to spy on you. They voted to open the border and make people legal citizens when they came here illegally. They voted to take away work requirements.” Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
                 Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09) this month shared how Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents violated him and his rights several years ago, and he proposed new ways for the agency to reform itself. Clyde made his remarks at a House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties hearing. The congressman said IRS agents seized more than $940,000 of his in 2013 — without warning and without ever charging him with a crime. “How on Earth does the Internal Revenue Service or any other government agency have the power to seize one’s property without charging a person with a crime? It should not. But the IRS had been wrongfully confiscating money from individuals and small business owners across the country through civil asset forfeiture. Specifically, they were accusing people of structuring their legally earned cash bank deposits and that is exactly what they did to me,” Clyde said. “In my case, the Internal Revenue Service offered me a deal to give back two-thirds of the $940,000 of my legally earned money if I would forfeit one-third to...
              moreby Bethany Blankley   Included in the Democrats’ Build Back Better Act currently before the U.S. Senate is a proposal to allocate $80 billion to the Internal Revenue Service to hire nearly 87,000 additional agents – a plan opposed by a majority of voters recently polled. The BBBA proposal also comes after numerous reports show years of examples of agency problems costing taxpayer money. According to a new HarrisX poll, 58% of likely voters said they think increased enforcement would impact middle class taxpayers the most; 23% said it would only impact the wealthy. They’re inclination appears to be accurate, according to the House version of the bill. Half of the expected 1.2 million new audits would target households earning less than $75,000. The majority of the proposed funding – $44.9 billion – would go toward IRS enforcement compared to $1.93 billion to help taxpayers with services like pre-filing assistance and education, filing and account services, and taxpayer advocacy. While large corporations employ a staff of lawyers and accountants who help lower their tax responsibilities, most small businesses don’t. Because the IRS...
    Tuesday on FNC’s “Fox & Friends First,” Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) warned of the danger posed by President Joe Biden’s IRS proposal to monitor banking transactions in excess of $600. Hinson emphasized the importance of her legislation to block the “incredible invasion of big government” and keep the IRS “out of our bank accounts.” “Let’s face it — Americans are spending money on groceries, on rent, and the government doesn’t need to know every time you’re going to Costco stocking up on diapers and groceries,” Hinson declared. “I think it is just an incredible invasion of big government. And so, our bill is designed to fight back against that. The Protecting Financial Privacy Act is standing up for personal freedom and keeping the IRS out of our bank accounts. Instead of funding new IRS agents right now, we should be funding Border Patrol agents. And so, it is a counter to the mixed priorities coming out of the Biden administration right now.” “This is a big brother proposal, plain and simple,” she added. “And when you look at the plan...
    FBI agents finish loading materials into a truck out of the home of United Auto Workers President Gary Jones on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.Michael Wayland / CNBC In June, the U.S. government casually auctioned off some spare litecoin, bitcoin, and bitcoin cash.  Lot 4TQSCI21402001 – one of eleven on offer over the four-day auction – included 150.22567153 litecoin and 0.00022893 bitcoin cash, worth more than $21,000 at today's prices. The crypto property had been confiscated as part of a tax noncompliance case. This kind of sale is nothing new for Uncle Sam. For years, the government has been seizing, stockpiling, and selling off cryptocurrencies, alongside the usual assets one would expect from high-profile criminal sting operations. "It could be 10 boats, 12 cars, and then one of the lots is X number of bitcoin being auctioned," explained Jarod Koopman, director of cyber crime at the IRS.  Koopman's team of IRS agents don't fit the stereotypical mold. They are sworn law enforcement officers who carry weapons and badges and who execute search, arrest, and seizure warrants. They also bring back record...
    If you wanted to find the group getting the rawest deal in 2021 America, you might start with small-business owners. Many are finding themselves working 60- or 80-hour weeks just to scrape by. During the height of COVID-19, these companies were especially beaten down. Between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, about 30% of U.S. small businesses closed, while total small-business revenue decreased by 31%, according to Economic Tracker. During the same period, the stock market boomed, and multinational corporations continued to thrive. The effects of this economic destruction are apparent in communities all over the country. Boarded-up storefronts on main streets across America are the norm. Given this dynamic, it’s almost incomprehensible that Senate Republicans are about to help pass an infrastructure package that unleashes the IRS to collect more revenue through aggressive policing of small businesses. PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND-APRIL 08: Homes are shown boarded up on April 08, 2021 in Providence, Rhode Island. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Our tax code is massively complex. Huge companies have armies of lawyers and accountants to navigate the complexity. As...
    The owner of a Jersey Shore construction and demolition company admitted in federal court Wednesday that he ducked employment and personal income taxes. Peter Alvarez, 54, of Atlantic Highlands didn’t report income from clients’ checks that he cashed and then used, in part, to pay employees at Mr. Demo, a construction and demolition business that he owned and operated in Leonardo, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said. Rather than face a trial, Alvarez took a deal from federal prosecutors. In exchange for leniency, the Middletown native pleaded guilty to evading employment and personal income taxes via videoconference with Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton. The plea requires him to make full $609,668 restitution to the IRS, Honig said. Wolfson scheduled sentencing for Oct. 28. Honig credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and special agents of the FBI with the investigation leading to the plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J Fortier Imbert and Sara F. Merin of her Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
    The power to tax has long conferred the power to destroy political opponents. But in the glorious era of President Joe Biden, all previous cases of government abuse of power are being expunged, at least by the media and Biden supporters. That is why it is supposedly safe to vastly increase the power of perhaps the most feared federal agency, the Internal Revenue Service. After announcing his endless wish list for new federal spending, Biden told Congress last week: “I’ve made clear that we can do it without increasing deficits.” Biden believes he has found a goose that will lay golden eggs for federal revenue — a new army of IRS agents to hound Americans and corporations to pay far more taxes. The Washington Post reported that “the single biggest source of new revenue in the plan comes from dramatically expanding the clout of the nation’s tax agency.” Slate reported, “Biden wants to fund a massive upgrade to the American welfare state by making the IRS great at audits again.” (RELATED: ‘Everyone Loves The IRS’: Chris Christie Jokes Biden May...
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