A new report from the GOP-majority House is delivering good news to Americans.
Namely, that the IRS will no longer be using “unannounced field visits to harass, intimidate, and target taxpayers.”
It’s an Interim Staff Report of the Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government in the U.S. House that has released “Fighting the Weaponization of the Internal Revenue Service: The end of abusive unannounced field visits.”
By Bob Unruh/WND News Service. Used with permission.
OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The report reveals in its conclusion that the congressional oversight “revealed, and led to the swift end of, the IRS’s weaponization of unannounced field visits to harass, intimidate, and target taxpayers.”
“Taxpayers can now rest assured the IRS will not come knocking without providing prior notice – something that should have been the IRS’s practice all along. No American should fear again an unannounced visit from the powerful tax collector. No American should fall victim to deception from their own government to threaten and pressure them into submission,” the report found.
“The details that the committee and select subcommittee gathered about IRS abuses are shocking examples of the federal government’s weaponization. The IRS’s swath of new funding and intentions to expand its enforcement activities compel the committee and select subcommittee to stay vigilant for new ways the IRS will inevitably try to abuse its power.”
In fact, the report said the oversight of the IRS actually “is only beginning.”
The IRS abuses in recent years have been legion. Under Barack Obama, IRS officials targeted Christian and conservative organizations, deliberately blocking their official registration.
That means they could not act in the 2012 presidential election, pointing out the many failures of the Obama administration and its multiple attacks on people of faith.
Those attacks, in abeyance during the years President Donald Trump was in office, have returned in many ways with renewed strength under Joe Biden.
His agenda repeatedly has sought to undermine or nullify the Christian faith, such as during the attacks on the religious rights of artists like Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who repeatedly faced punishment for standing by his Christian faith.
The attacks are happening in other ways, too.
The report continued, “The committee and select subcommittee are already aware that the IRS is intentionally, and repeatedly, backdating tax documents to levy insurmountable penalties against taxpayers and businesses seeking to lawfully capitalize on available avenues for tax relief.”
And the report said members of Congress are “looking into the IRS’s continued efforts to chill the political speech of nonprofit organizations.”
An announcement from the committees said the IRS was caught committing “alarming civil liberties abuses, including an unannounced, unprompted field visit to the home of journalist Matt Taibbi on the very day he testified before Congress about government censorship.
“In light of the Democrats’ allocation of nearly $80 billion in new funding to the IRS in the 117th Congress, the report underscores the committee’s and select subcommittee’s commitment to continuing the investigation into the IRS’s practices, aiming to safeguard the American people from any future abuse of its power.”
The report specifically cites the threat to Americans from the IRS.
“As Justice John Marshall noted over two-hundred years ago, the ‘power to tax involves the power to destroy.’”
And members of Congress said that warning “is as potent now as it was then.”
“Democrats chose to enable the IRS to hire as many as 87,000 agents to aggressively pursue American taxpayers. One of the first priorities for the new Republican majority in the 118th Congress was to severely curtail this new funding. The committee’s and select subcommittee’s oversight shows the wisdom of this action. In just the first nine months of this Congress, the committee and select subcommittee have shed light on several civil liberties abuses at the IRS,” the report said.
“For example: The IRS conducted an unannounced field visit to the home of journalist Matt Taibbi the same day he testified before Congress about government abuse. The IRS opened a case against Mr. Taibbi on Christmas Eve – a Saturday – just three weeks after Mr. Taibbi began reporting on the Twitter Files. In the four-and-one-half years between when the IRS alleges it last tried to contact Mr. Taibbi and the day it conducted an unannounced field visit, neither he nor his accountant ever received notice from the IRS about an issue with his tax return.”
At the time of the “visit,” the report charges, “Mr. Taibbi did not owe the IRS anything, rather, the IRS owed Mr. Taibbi a substantial refund. The unannounced field visit alarmed Mr. Taibbi, who viewed it as an attempt to chill his reporting about government abuses.”
In another situation, “An IRS agent gave a fake name and used deception to gain entry into the house of an Ohio taxpayer and then threatened her when asked to leave.”
In another case, the IRS demanded a “substantial amount of money” “immediately” under the threat of a lien on the taxpayer’s home.
“After the taxpayer called the police, the revenue officer even filed a complaint against the police department. The IRS later confirmed that the taxpayer owed nothing…” the report noted.
The committee report noted that the exposure of such harassment “led the IRS to repeal its policy of allowing its agents to conduct unannounced field visits to taxpayers’ homes.”
The problems are obvious under Biden’s administration, the report said.
“The man who President Obama chose to clean up the IRS’s mess in 2013, Danny Werfel, is the same man who President Biden chose to lead the agency today. The agency that felt emboldened ten years ago to intentionally and unfairly scrutinize conservative nonprofit organizations is the same agency that feels emboldened now to force its way into a taxpayer’s home,” the report said.
By Bob Unruh, WND News Service