A newly released congressional report revealed that IRS agents have used fake names when dealing with American taxpayers and have used methods deemed as harassment.
Investigations of the Internal Revenue Service by the House Judiciary Committee have exposed alarming tactics used by the agency in intimidating working-class Americans, in some cases appearing to potentially break the law in the process. A 22-page report released by the committee focused on disturbing incidents with agents.
“The House Judiciary Committee documented a case in Ohio where an IRS agent showed up at a taxpayer’s home unannounced, lied about his name and the reason for his visit, refused to leave when told to do so by the woman’s lawyer, threatened to freeze the taxpayer’s assets and then filed a complaint against the police when they responded,” The Washington Times reported.
Convinced the man was an imposter because of the bizarre behavior, police checked him out only to find after an inquiry with the IRS inspector general that he was, in fact, “a real agent using a fake name, ‘Agent Bill Haus.’ The IRS even confirmed after the whole debacle that the woman never actually owed any taxes.
A Marion Police Department major told the Judiciary Committee he “found this entire situation odd.”
“She is truly in fear of this man. What is more concerning, she had contacted the IRS, verified she has a zero balance and she indicates that the person she spoke with on the phone has no idea why an agent would be coming to her home,” the major said.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) October 28, 2023
The House committee’s inquiry into the “weaponization” of the IRS included the account of the harassed and traumatized woman but also included details on the unannounced visit paid to journalist Matt Taibbi – which coincided with his own testimony to Congress.
“The Republican investigation also revealed that the IRS was so eager to target Mr. Taibbi that it opened its investigation on Christmas Eve, which was also a Saturday, just three weeks after he broke his first story about what has come to be known as the ‘Twitter Files,” The Times reported, adding that Taibbi also owed the IRS nothing but was owed a refund.
According to The Washington Times:
In the Ohio case, the agent first claimed he was checking up on an estate of a deceased person for which the woman was the fiduciary and said she owed a substantial amount of money. The taxpayer showed that the taxes had been paid, and the agent then said he was actually there about delinquent returns.
The committee report said those stories should be concerning given the tens of billions of dollars Democrats in Congress pumped into the IRS in last year’s budget-climate bill.
“When the IRS visited my home, Jim Jordan actually did something about it,” Taibbi said of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) October 28, 2023
“No American should fall victim to deception from their own government to threaten and pressure them into submission,” the Republican-led report stated. “The details that the committee and select subcommittee gathered about IRS abuses are shocking examples of the federal government’s weaponization.”
The agency has reportedly made some policy changes after the GOP probe.
“The Committee’s and Select Subcommittee’s oversight revealed, and led to the swift end of, the IRS’s weaponization of unannounced field visits to harass, intimidate, and target taxpayers,” the report said.
“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.”
But the IRS raised eyebrows when it announced back in July that it “will end most unannounced visits… to reduce public confusion and enhance overall safety measures for taxpayers and employees.”
“The IRS’s attempt to justify its decision as being in the best interest of the safety of its revenue officers lacks concrete evidence. To the extent this data does exist, the IRS has not made it publicly available or supplied it to the Committee or Select Subcommittee,” the report said.
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