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As recent testimony confirms, the Internal Revenue Service has been singling out groups for extra scrutiny and abuse based on their political views. At the same time, the IRS has been singling out people who are not even supposed to be in the United States for special convenience. For example, in 2011 the IRS sent more than $46 million in refunds to 23,994 “unauthorized” workers, and the money went to a single address in Atlanta. A second address in Atlanta got 11,284 refunds worth $2,164,976. Unauthorized workers at a third Atlanta address got 3,608 refunds worth $2,691,448 and a paltry $1,232,943 went to 2,386 unauthorized workers at yet another Atlanta address. The IRS also assigned 6,411 Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to a single address in Morganton, North Carolina, population 16,681.
These realities emerge from the audit report for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and raise a number of questions. How much tax fraud is involved here, and who is responsible? The more than $46 million in refunds to a few collective addresses of persons not authorized to be in the United States was described as “accidental.” But as in the case of singling out groups for extra scrutiny, could this have been a policy of IRS bosses such as Steven Miller, who described the IRS crackdown on dissenters as “horrible customer service”? Could the IRS personnel involved, like the supposedly renegade bunch in Cincinnati, have been acting on orders from the executive branch? Did any of them get bonuses or promotions? Or was anybody fired or disciplined for the actions? And will any of the IRS workers who sent the refunds be transferred to the administration of Obamacare?
Simple incompetence fails to explain developments of this magnitude but a few realities are clear. Based on recent revelations, the IRS is clearly more competent doing what it is not supposed to do – abusing American citizens because of their political views – than performance of its authorized task of handling the tax returns of American citizens in an impartial and professional manner. Steven Miller was part right. This is horrible government.