Saturday, March 12, 2005

The IRS is here to help

Bob Schultz of We the People scored some points when the 2nd Circuit Appeals court ruled that IRS summonses amount to no more than "requests" for information. Their ruling is here. But wait, look at what the government wants to do. They filed a motion asking the court to amend their ruling. Read that here.
The Court wrote (regarding an IRS issued summons) :

...absent an effort to seek enforcement through a federal court, IRS summonses apply no force to taxpayers, and no consequence whatever can befall a taxpayer who refuses, ignores, or otherwise does not comply with an IRS summons until that summons is backed by a federal court order.
The governments position would be comical if the issue at hand weren't so serious. Here's a little gem from the government in their motion to amend:

By creating the false impression that taxpayers are free to simply ignore an IRS summons, the Court's opinion threatens seriously to impede the effective administration and enforcement of the nation's tax laws.
It's not a false impression, because the summons cannot be ignored if it's backed by a court order. But the kicker of this whole thing is that the US Attorney stated in a memo to the court that:

as indicated in oral argument, the IRS does not have the power to compel the taxpayer to obey an administrative summons without obtaining an order from the proper district court...the IRS must seek judicial enforcement of the summons by bringing what it refers to as "a summons enforcement action" in district court.
Has anyone at the DOJ thought that maybe the threat to the "effective administration and enforcement of the nation's tax laws" isn't what the focus should be on? The Constitution allows for the imposing of taxes but what Schultz and others believe is that whatever federal government does should follow from our "living document" (quoted for sarcasm).

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