3 More Reasons to Fear the IRS

So the IRS has admitted to sitting on applications for tax-exempt status by Tea Party groups for political reasons.

According to the government’s own investigation, applications containing terms such as Tea Party and Patriot were singled out for delays and holds even as groups with liberal-sounding names like "Bus for Progress" and "Progress Florida" sailed through the process.

President Obama said “the report's findings are intolerable and inexcusable” and even fired the acting head of the Internal Revenue Service.

Regardless of how this particular scandal shakes out, there’s still going to be at least three good reasons to be scared as hell of the IRS.

1. It’s always been a political weapon.

John F Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon all sicced the IRS on enemies and dissenters. And they were just following in the footsteps of Franklin Roosevelt, whose son said his father was “the originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political retribution.”

2. Its rulings are super-complicated and capricious.

The federal tax code is longer than Atlas Shrugged, Ulysses, and the Old Testament put together. It’s so complicated that even former IRS commissioners need help preparing their returns.

3. It's Obamacare's enforcement mechanism.

Starting next year, the IRS will be the cop patrolling the Affordable Care Act’s mandates, with the agency overseeing some 47 tax provisions related to Obamacare. You won’t just be reporting income anymore. You’ll be explaining when, where, and how you bought health care as well.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Rod: Daddy, what do taxes pay for?

    Ned: Oh, why, everything. Policemen, trees, sunshine. And let's not forget the folks who just don't feel like working, God bless 'em!

  • jomobiqodewuA2||

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    (Go to site and open "Home" for details)

  • ||

    Ok, I'm panicking.

  • NeonCat||

    Too bad, there's not a form for that. Maybe you can get an extension.

  • Sevo||

    I need more reasons?

  • BigT||

    Why was Gary Coleman at the signing of Obamacare?

  • Jacurdy||

    I see 47 more reasons to fear the IRS in reason #3.

  • juliusaugustus||

    The IRS is a private corporation.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Link, please. Never heard this before.

  • not you||

    the IRS is indeed "private" just like the fed reserve system.

    It is irrelevant though. The FRS and IRS are something called "instrumentalities" of the Federal Government.

  • larry hammond||

    A private corporation could be held accountable.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Time to repeal the 16th-A, and meld the IRS into DHS to help collect Customs Duties.

  • Brutus||

    There's a fairly sizable plurality that believes the 16th didn't actually do anything, that taxes on income always were constitutional. I think they had been levied before, and would likely be levied again even if it was repealed without an Amendment that actually barred taxation of income.

  • Calidissident||

    Income taxes are direct taxes, and therefore explicitly unconstitutional if they're not apportioned among the states (prior to the 16th of course), which would be impossible to enact. There were a couple income taxes, but they were brief and I believe ruled unconstitutional in the 1890s. It's not like the government didn't do blatantly unconstitutional things even back then

  • rrpjr||

    This is too mild-mannered. No, the IRS didn't just "sit on" applications. They aggressively demanded answers to reams of instrusive and inappropriate questions. They even asked for the content of prayers in some cases. Come on, Reason. This should be your moment to shine. Get tougher.

  • TMLutas||

    The 16th amendment, not just the law, it's a really bad idea.

  • Tom Beebe||

    Where to start? May I offer a suggestion? The idea of ending all taxes on businesses, and financing government entirely from individual income taxes, is probably an anathema to most Americans. But consider these points:
    1. Where but from their customers, you and me, does a business get money to pay their taxes? You’re paying those taxes with each purchase, but they’re hidden from you. Wouldn’t “transparency” dictate that you see when you pay the cost of government?
    2. We decry “crony capitalism. Why? Does it give some enterprises a preference over their competition, in exchange for favors from campaign contributions to outright bribes to law makers? If you think all businesses should be on an equal footing, how else would you accomplish such a condition? If you’d like to get corporate money out of elections, how better than to eliminate incentives to buy those lawgivers?
    3. Health care for employees gives some tax subsidized health care at the expense of others. If there was no tax to avoid, it would, put all workers on the same level playing field.
    4. Having the lowest possible taxes on businesses would make the product of American labor competitive in the world market while preserving higher take-home wages.
    5. It is a far easier call for the IRS to hold all citizens to a common standard than to attempt to differentiate among businesses, unions, religions, and advocacy groups as diverse as the Sierra club or the NRA.

  • not you||

    "...and financing government entirely from individual income taxes..."

    how about getting rid of "income" taxes altogether?

    taxes don't finance government.. debt (bonds) finance it, taxes are used to pay the bonds

  • DenverJay||

    "President Obama said ... and even fired the acting head of the Internal Revenue Service."

    Even this minimum response is BS. I'm pretty sure that it's been reported that this ass-hat had already turned in his resignation for the end of June, for entirely unrelated reasons.

  • XM||

    There weren't enough people to pay into O-care to begin with, and after this fiasco, the IRS will be gun shy about going after the uninsured who won't buy insurance. A recipe for success.

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