Friday, January 23, 2015

If You're Late Getting a Tax Refund Thank the Republicans!

Two years ago I posted about the erupting hysteria from the Right regarding the IRS singling them out for far more detailed screening of their 501(c)(4) applications - for reduced taxes - compared to "social welfare" groups, their political counterparts.

Under the criteria set for 501(c)(4) groups:  the degree to which they can claim tax exempt status hinges on the extent to which they are not embroiled in political opportunism, partisan political attacks and self-styled political hackery. Does anyone seriously believe the Tea Party groups qualified? Groups that have viciously attacked Obama and his administration from the get-go,  to the extent of toting loaded weapons to public meetings on his Affordable Care Act, and painting him as Hitler or a Nazi ?

The IRS was simply acting on the evidence. Thus, it requires no jumps in latent popular IQ to grasp why the IRS would invoke a more lengthy and detailed application form for these rightist groups. And bear in mind again, they are obliged to scrutinize more such types specifically because of the tax code's own requirements!

But the Reepos -  like beaten, feral dogs-  weren't happy. They waited and nursed their perceived victimization and grievances until they could rule congress again and bring out the budget -cutting knives. And so it came to pass when they increased IRS cuts to $346 m  for the budget year ending Sept. 30  with the most recent bill passed. Many Tea Partyers have actually declared this is their "revenge".

But one may rightly ask WHO is the "revenge" really on?  In fact, it will be on the American taxpayers themselves, but why be surprised when the first target of the Reeps has always been 'We the People'.

According to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, these budget  cuts will force the IRS to reduce taxpayer services and other functions. The number of audits will also decline, possibly costing the government an additional $2 billion or more in badly needed revenue - when the spending already outpaces revenue intake by nearly 16 to 1. No nation can long survive with such income imbalance.

Worse, the agency may even be forced to shut down and furlough workers as noted by a Denver Post article (IRS Cuts Leave Little Help For Filers'). More immediately painful, according to Nina Olson - the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate- fewer than half of the usual 100 million filers to be able to get through to enlist help. That includes low income taxpayers who may need assistance with the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Lastly, taxpayers expecting refunds may have to wait a few extra weeks to get them, especially paper filers.

Apart from the 'pukes getting revenge for the tough IRS scrutiny 2 years ago, there is also a matter of taking aim at the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") and using IRS budget cuts to starve the ACA's tax aspects of the needed oversight. (Those who refuse ACA participation are required to pay a tax penalty - so the IRS is required by law to help implement the health program in this way.)

Have problems this tax season? Be sure to write Johnno Boehner and thank him for what he and his Reeps have done to the IRS - and to the taxpayers of this country!

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