Internal Revenue Service

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Beware Massive IRS Phone Scam

Fake agents demand immediate payment

(Newser) - If an Internal Revenue Service agent calls you up threatening dire consequences if unpaid taxes aren't settled immediately, don't pay up—that's not an IRS agent on the other end. Tax officials say that in the "largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen,... More »

Charges in IRS Targeting Scandal? Not Likely

FBI doesn't see evidence of criminal wrongdoing, sources say

(Newser) - Don't expect any criminal charges related to last year's IRS scandal . Law enforcement officials tell the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times that the FBI doesn't plan to file any charges over the increased scrutiny experienced by various political groups that applied for tax-exempt status.... More »

As Feds Sing Praises, Bitcoin Hits Record High

Senators told IRS plans to regulate virtual currency

(Newser) - Bitcoin had a good day yesterday—as did people holding the virtual currency. On some exchanges, it hit record prices of $800 or more after a Senate hearing that saw federal officials praise some of the benefits of digital money, the Wall Street Journal reports. The first-ever congressional hearing on... More »

Shutdown Fallout: Delayed Tax Refunds

IRS to start processing returns later

(Newser) - Internal Revenue Service workers are back from furlough with news that might annoy on-the-ball taxpayers: The agency says the government shutdown will delay the date when it begins processing tax returns by as much as two weeks, meaning refunds won't arrive as promptly as usual for millions of early... More »

IRS Posted 100K Social Security Numbers Online: Watchdog

They belonged to tax-exempt political groups' donors

(Newser) - As if the IRS didn't have enough on its plate . Now, the agency has accidentally posted thousands of Social Security numbers—perhaps 100,000, according to one observer—on a federal website. The IRS confirmed the story, initially spotted by Public.Resource.Org . The IDs were posted on a... More »

Latest IRS Sin: $50M Spent on Conferences in 3 Years

'Inappropriate' outlay included line-dancing lessons

(Newser) - Sympathy might be in short supply for the IRS, which has been hit by an audit at a very inconvenient time. A government watchdog's look at the scandal-hit agency's books found that it spent around $50 million on more than 200 conferences for employees between 2010 and 2012,... More »

IRS' New Headache: Dance Video

House Republicans salivate over new evidence of abuse

(Newser) - Another day, another cringe-inducing instance of the IRS looking tone deaf: The latest embarrassment comes via the House Ways and Means Committee, which Friday released a video of IRS employees line-dancing to the "Cupid Shuffle"—on the taxpayer dime. The video is apparently what passed for entertainment at... More »

IRS' Lerner Placed on Leave

Move comes after her non-testimony on Capitol Hill

(Newser) - The IRS official at the center of the recent scandal has been placed on administrative leave, reports the National Review . Lois Lerner had been in charge of the agency's tax-exempt unit, which singled out conservative groups for added scrutiny. Her immediate boss already has been forced into early retirement... More »

IRS Honcho Defiant in 9-Minute House Appearance

Lois Lerner says she hasn't done anything wrong, then pleads the 5th

(Newser) - The IRS official at the center of the storm over the agency's targeting of conservative groups told Congress today that she had done nothing wrong in the episode, and then invoked her constitutional right to refuse to answer lawmakers' questions, as expected . In one of the most electric moments... More »

Holder Orders IRS Investigation

He also said he had no involvement in the AP phone records scandal

(Newser) - Eric Holder today said he has launched a criminal investigation into the IRS scandal , and he also disavowed involvement in the AP snooping scandal . On the latter, the attorney general said he'd recused himself from the related leak investigation. In a press conference at the Justice Department today, Holder... More »

IRS Also Leaked Info About Conservative Groups

Targeting scandal widens

(Newser) - More trouble for the IRS: The same office that singled out conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status also leaked confidential information about conservative groups last year, ProPublica reports. How does ProPublica know? Well, because the nine pending applications were leaked to ProPublica in the first place. The investigative site had... More »

Obama Slams 'Outrageous' IRS Targeting

Alleged behavior is unacceptable, he says

(Newser) - President Obama officially responded to the widening IRS targeting scandal today, promising to hold the organization responsible if it engaged in any unacceptable behavior and saying he first learned of the accusations through reports in the media. "If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that... More »

IRS Also Targeted Anti-Govt. Groups, Scads of Others

Groups concerned with Constitution, taxes, spending, etc.

(Newser) - The IRS scandal goes beyond the Tea Party: Documents show that over the past two years while evaluating applications for tax-exempt status, officials also zeroed in on groups that criticized the government or educated Americans about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights; as well as groups that were interested... More »

Top Cities Where IRS Expects Tax Cheats

Small-business owners among top targets: study

(Newser) - A study is shedding new light on just who should most fear a federal tax audit. Small-business owners—who often deal in cash—are eyed more warily than others, says the report by the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent office within the IRS. And location matters. According to secret data... More »

Despite Fed Protests, Court OKs Solyndra Bankruptcy

Government may appeal decision

(Newser) - Failed solar company Solyndra got court approval for its bankruptcy plan today—despite objections from the US government. The government had accused the plan of providing $341 million in improper tax breaks for investors , but a judge said the government didn't prove that the main goal of Solyndra's... More »

Sorry, Olympic Medalists Don't Deserve Tax Break

Last thing our tax code needs is yet another loophole: Conor Friedersdorf

(Newser) - Marco Rubio claims he wants to simplify the tax code—so why in the world is he calling for Olympians not to be taxed on their winnings? Such a plan "is a perfect example of why the tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess," writes Conor Friedersdorf... More »

Identity Theft Probe Halted $1.4B in False IRS Refunds

105 busted in sweep

(Newser) - The Internal Revenue Service is cracking down on fraudsters as tax return seasons begins. The agency has stepped up efforts to prevent identity theft, and caught 260,000 bad returns last year, up from 50,000 in 2010, and prevented a total of $1.4 billion in bad refunds being... More »

IRS Eyes Google As Profits Jump

Company going 'gangbusters,' boasts CEO

(Newser) - Hard times elsewhere haven't done any damage to Google's bottom line. The company has announced a whopping 26% year-on-year jump in profits for the third quarter of this year, with net income of $2.73 billion on nearly $10 billion revenue, most of it from advertising, the BBC... More »

Married Gays Grapple With IRS

Taxmen not recognizing same-sex unions

(Newser) - The Internal Revenue Service is refusing to recognize gay marriages, causing headaches for couples who have won the right to wed in their home states, BusinessWeek finds. The Obama administration has urged federal agencies to extend benefits as far as they can to same-sex couples under existing law, but analysts... More »

IRS Boss: Sorry About My Rude Employees

Douglas Shulman offers public apology

(Newser) - Ever had a run-in with a rude IRS agent? Well, Douglas Shulman’s sorry about that. The IRS commissioner offered a rare apology today to three identity theft victims who said they’d been mistreated by his employees, the AP reports. “We need to walk in each taxpayer’s... More »

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