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The IRS Can’t Locate It’s Own Receipts

Last night on CNN, Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash did a report on the IRS’s latest scandal about overspending on conferences and revealed the rather amusing fact that the IRS cannot locate its own receipts:

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. fred says:

    The Defense Department has not been able to account for spending in Iraq, Afghan and department wide for ages. Why is the information marketplace and congress not investigating that? IRS has become the scapegoat for the media and congress. From what we saw on TV hearings yesterday they should not have approved many TP organizations as non-profits and should reverse their approval and demand tax from these groups.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Irony… Thy initials are I.R.S.

    To follow up on @fred: I wonder if the CIA can account for all the cash they “deposited” in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    BWAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAheheeehheeeeheehee…… Gasp… wheeze….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  3. Caj says:

    I’ve said all long this IRS investigation was a bunch of crap. The tea party and other right wing groups had NO business even getting tax exempt status! What part of they were ALL POLITICAL and had absolutely NOTHING to do with social welfare didn’t people get? Even the President was wrong I feel for showing such outrage. IRS were doing their job and tea party and others should have been scrutinized. We are now seeing that all this ballyhoo appears to be over nothing. And your next made up scandal is going to be about what Republicans?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 16

  4. Matt Bernius says:

    In all seriousness, the IRS has a real paperwork problem. Part of the problem that the EO faces is that none of the specialists or initial reviewers documented anything about the “potential political cases.” The net result is that no reasons for selection exist beyond the BOLO list. And that doesn’t help them at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. jiagap says:

    @Caj:
    The heart of every Tea Party influenced group is the US Constitution. EVERY person elected swears to uphold this Constitution. So, on one level, how can the Tea Party be anything but political in the most basic and fundamental sense? This is inescapable. On the other hand, how can it be partisan? The PONTUS himself swore to uphold the Constitution. He should be outraged that the IRS was harassing groups that are promoting the Constitution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  6. Matt Bernius says:

    @jiagap:
    The problem isn’t so much with the Tea Party as it is with the 501c(4) form in general.

    But the thing is *political intervention* as defined by the tax code has nothing to do with *partisanship* and everything to do with attempting to influence elections. You might want to look at this article I wrote on the Wetumpka Tea Party and how they demonstrate the problems of “political intervention.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jiagap:

    He should be outraged that the IRS was harassing groups that are promoting the Constitution.

    Only problem is most of them don’t even know what is in it. If they did, their demonstrated loyalty to the GOP would be a lot less strident.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  8. rudderpedals says:

    @Matt Bernius: Did you notice the lady from Wetumpka was one of the witnesses yesterday? Those of our not already over on the dark side congressmen could have used the opportunity productively – had they read your article beforehand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  9. Jenos Idanian says:

    So… the big problem here is that the Tea Party groups thought that they could exploit 501c(4) status, like such groups as Priorities USA, Bus For Progress, Progress Florida, and other openly liberal groups did? They should have known that the rules are supposed to only benefit liberals, not anyone else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  10. jiagap says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    Matt, thanks for the link.

    Matt writes:
    “In all of my articles on the EO Investigation, I keep returning to the point that no one can reliably articulate what are appropriate functions for a 501(c)4. The more that one looks at the activity of 501(c)4 applicants, like the Wetumpka Tea Party, the more one finds hybrid activities that are at once political and educational, political and religious.”

    I think that helps nail it. I have said all along we should abolish the IRS code and the federal income tax. The code is inescapable discriminatory and political and will always be influenced by what ever currents are currently flowing in that river. The fact that any group has to file for “exemption” is a problem. I would apply this to all churches and charities as well.

    Thanks again for the link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    the big problem here is that the Tea Party groups thought that they could exploit 501c(4) status, like such groups as Priorities USA, Bus For Progress, Progress Florida, and other openly liberal groups did

    This is a sadly telling statement.

    In a sane world, the majority of this sort of investigation would focus on *why we have a non-profit form that is (a) deeply confusing and difficult to enforce and (b) easily exploited for political purposes.* In other words, is the 501c(4) structure working?

    In our world, people want this investigation to be about why isn’t my side allowed to cheat in the way I believe the other side was cheating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  12. Matt Bernius says:

    @jiagap:

    I have said all along we should abolish the IRS code and the federal income tax. The code is inescapable discriminatory and political and will always be influenced by what ever currents are currently flowing in that river. The fact that any group has to file for “exemption” is a problem. I would apply this to all churches and charities as well.

    Just to be clear, that isn’t my argument at all.

    I do however think that the 501c(4) form is broken beyond repair and should be eliminated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. jiagap says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    In my limited experience, every Tea Party person I have ever had a chat with was quite upset at the GOP – I have not seen this GOP loyalty you speak of.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  14. Matt Bernius says:

    @jiagap:

    In my limited experience, every Tea Party person I have ever had a chat with was quite upset at the GOP – I have not seen this GOP loyalty you speak of.

    Well… the issue is that in a number of localities, at least when it comes to candidates, there’s a lot of crossover between the GOP and Conservative/Tea Party pick once you get to the general election.

    And, again, it isn’t that 501c(4) candidates have to support certain parties (though the idea of “tea party” candidates doesn’t help them). It’s that “political intervention” cannot become their “primary activity.” The problem is that the code doesn’t explain how “primary” is measured.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. jiagap says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Matt, I understand this was not your argument. And I appreciate your clarity. But in agreeing with your observation that the 501c(4) “deeply confusing” – I extend that to the whole of the IRS code. For example, when APPL is brought before a Senate Committee and questioned about legal tax filings based on a code written by Congress – it should wake us up a bit to 1) the more complex, the more brilliantly men can find ways to get around it (and I defend AAPL’s brilliance), and 2) the code cannot help but be political – and influenced by whoever is at the tiller. And I suspect the direction is often dictated by back room deals with politicians and business folk that want the direction to go a certain way for a financial or ideological goal.

    The Affordable Care Act will be no exception, with the IRS again being the chief auditor and enforcer. I predict nightmare upon nightmare as the administration of it unfolds and is applied. Thousands upon thousands of complicated pages. And there will be brilliant accountants and business folk and politicians who find all sorts of ways to creatively maneuver through it for their good, and the very people it was ostensibly created to help will probably suffer the most.

    Thanks again for the clarity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. anjin-san says:

    @ jiagap

    The heart of every Tea Party influenced group is the US Constitution.

    So the tea party supports marriage equality? I must have missed the memo…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. jiagap says:

    @anjin-san:

    No, I believe I am the one who missed the memo that defines “marriage equality” and how it relates to the Constitution and this thread????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. 1200intell says:

    Seems your missing the big picture boys, can’t believe you are defending the epitome of Tyranny AKA the IRS.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324659404578501411510635312.html?mod=opinion_newsreel

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. Tyrell says:

    That is a good one. I’ll try that if I am audited. It is hard to organize and save hundreds of receipts from donations to the local thrift shops.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1